Enel Cuore: 15 years of dedication to others
Happy birthday, Enel Cuore! Our Group’s non-profit company, which was founded in 2003 to support the solidarity initiatives of other non-profit organisations, has just turned 15!
This important milestone was celebrated on 11 December last with a Christmas concert at the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome. Here the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia JuniOrchestra played to an audience that included Enel’s Chairman Patrizia Grieco and its CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace.
Enel Cuore has completed more than 770 social assistance projects to date, most particularly focusing on providing care for vulnerable people and training for the younger generation. Ongoing dialogue and exchanges with the non-profit sector have resulted in the investment of over 70 million euro, aimed at improving the lives of children and families battling illness and dealing with poverty and social exclusion.
Enel Cuore was one of the first corporate charities in Italy to promote partnerships between foundations, companies and institutions. It continues to look to the future, helping to support both existing initiatives and innovative, sustainable projects that are still in the pipeline.
In the area of childhood, the most broad-ranging of these projects is “Fare Scuola,” which was launched in 2015 in partnership with the Reggio Children Foundation - Centro Loris Malaguzzi. It focuses on improving educational environments, not merely in terms of learning but also as places of social interaction, with a particular focus on kindergartens and primary schools. The 58 schools which were upgraded as part of the project mean that 10,000 children and 178 teachers now have the kind of spaces they need to encourage a process of personal transformation and growth based on the values of collaboration and inclusion. Ten further new projects are planned for 2019 with a particular emphasis on the earthquake-devastated areas of Central Italy.
Enel Cuore also works with Moige (The Italian Parents’ Movement non-profit Organisation) to help protect children both inside and outside of school environments from bullying, cyberbullying and paedophilia, as well as from smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. Our support made it possible to purchase a mobile centre this year with a modular, multipurpose space and mini consultation room. The new unit has already visited schools in 70 towns and cities across Italy, offering students, teachers and parents targeted responses and practical tools for dealing with emergency situations. The Bull-OFF. Let’s stamp out bullying and cyberbullying project, which is run in collaboration with the Istituto degli Innocenti in Florence, has the same goal and involves four schools in Tuscany: the Istituto Galilei and Istituto Toniolo in Pisa and the Istituto Calamandrei and Istituto Ghiberti in Florence. A special Enel Cuore Bull-OFF Space was set up in each of the schools to show how the new technologies can be used in a responsible way and to develop positive relationships. The spaces remain in place even now, in fact.
A project developed in the Zisa district of Palermo with Inventare Insieme (Inventing Together) has a similar aim. A room will be set up in the Centro TAU, where the association has been working to combat social disadvantage and marginalisation for over 23 years, to run workshops designed to prevent youngsters from misusing the internet and social media. Enel Cuore is helping Inventare Insieme to complete the purchase of the building.
As previously stated, our non-profit company also provides support to young people outside the school environment. We are working with the San Patrignano Community, for instance, to promote social inclusion and recovery programmes that will help enhance the potential of the individual. We have also created a meeting space for youngsters and the 50 children of the people who work for the Community. A small house is being renovated too in order to accommodate pregnant young girls or those with small children as they complete a personal rehabilitation programme.
Further social and employment inclusion opportunities are offered through the Terre Colte call for submissions, which we are promoting together with the Fondazione con il Sud. Enel Cuore had added a million euro to the latter’s existing two million in funding to provide new opportunities in agriculture and livestock farming in six Italian regions: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Apulia, Sicily and Sardinia. The fund was created to finance the nine winning projects with the aim of reviving the areas’ traditions through the introduction of technological and cultural innovations.
There has also been a special emphasis on the unaccompanied foreign minors’ (UFM) emergency. After the launch in 2015 of the Never Alone project, we renewed our commitment for 2018/2019 with a competition that helps youngsters achieve independence in both employment and life skills through tailored development programmes. Never Alone operates as part of the EPIM (European Programme for Integration and Migration) and involves some of the leading Italian banking foundations: Fondazione Cariplo, Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Con il Sud, Fondazione CRT, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo, Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Fondazione Peppino Vismara.
Support for earthquake victims
In recent years, Italy has experienced environmental disasters that have profoundly impacted the life of entire areas. After the devastating earthquake of April 2009 in L’Aquila, tremors continued until 2012 in the city where Enel Cuore helped rebuild the Don Bosco Oratory. The youth meeting centre reopened and all the services previously offered to its users were reinstated: hospitality, sport, leisure and recreational activities, theatre, music and photography workshops and other educational and group activities. We also supported the rebuilding of the sports centre in the municipality of San Felice sul Panaro in the region of Emilia, which was damaged in the May 2012 earthquake. New spaces were built on the former bocce (bowling) greens for social activities and to provide services to more vulnerable members of the community (the elderly, people with disabilities or psychiatric issues, adolescents and immigrants). In addition to this, Enel Cuore worked on the building of a new school in Pieve Torina with the Italian Civil Defence.
Young people and the elderly are most at risk of illness and isolation but thanks to Enel Cuore’s support these negative experiences can be turned into new opportunities for social cohesion. A good case in point is the recreational therapy programme offered at the Dynamo Camp in the province of Pistoia which is attended by 1,200 guests each year on average. This is the first facility in Italy to offer free holidays and leisure activities to sick children and young people. Whether they are undergoing therapy or have completed a spell in hospital, participants do expressive and emotionally impactful creative activities to help them rebuild their confidence in themselves and their abilities again, as well as to enjoy unforgettable experiences with others of their own age.
Enel Cuore also supports the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital Foundation in Rome where it covers the costs of providing free accommodation for families who go there for treatment from outside the region. We have been doing this since 2014 when we signed up to the Ospedale senza dolore (Pain-free Hospital) campaign to which we made a contribution of 500,000 euro to help purchase a multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scanner. In 2019, the free accomodation will also be extended to children undergoing treatment at the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence and their families.
One of the first projects Enel Cuore became involved with is the provision of assistance to the elderly, a programme still running in collaboration with the Comunità di Sant’Egidio. 2004, in fact, saw the launch of the A casa è meglio (At home is better) project to help avoid elderly people becoming stuck in long-term care in hospitals and nursing homes. This was followed up by Viva gli anziani (Long live old folks) in 2011 which helps provide healthcare to over-80s in Rome’s various quarters and is based on a model of innovative, integrated care in the home. The original project has now evolved still further into the Viva gli anziani - Una città per gli anziani, una città per tutti (Long live old folks – A city for the elderly, a city for everyone) programme which helps combat social poverty both in large cities and small towns by working to prevent loneliness and isolation. The added value of the project is that it applies the principles of the sharing economy: fostering systems of mutual help and creating an integrated network of services, through a mix of monitoring, apps, cohousing, sheltered living complexes and day centres open to the community, as well as providing training courses for caregivers and families involved. After launching the project in Novara, Genoa, Amatrice, Rome, Naples and Catania, the initiative will extended to a further four cities in 2019, providing assistance to a total of 13,000 elderly people.
Enel Cuore may just have turned 15 but our commitment is ageless!