Distant but united in solidarity
The restrictions introduced because of the Covid-19 emergency have heightened the loneliness and social isolation that often affects society’s most vulnerable members, from people with disabilities to the elderly, as well as all those living in poverty or on the margins of society. In order to ensure that no one is left behind we have underlined our commitment by agreeing to double the amount raised by the Enel in-house fundraising campaign in Italy.
Since May, Enel staff, managers and directors have donated more than one million euros to support specific socially useful projects linked to the Covid-19 emergency promoted by five voluntary associations. With our support the total contribution will amount to more than 2 million euros, to be allocated based on the preferences expressed by each donor for the five charities. These are Comunità di Sant'Egidio ACAP Onlus, Caritas Italiana, Federazione Italiana per il Superamento dell’Handicap (F.I.S.H.), Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus and Federazione Nazionale degli Ordini delle Professioni Infermieristiche (FNOPI).
This contribution is in addition to our plan to donate 23 million euros to support the Civil Protection agency, upgrade healthcare facilities and help local authorities, especially in the areas most affected by the virus.
The five projects that we are supporting
Thanks to the fundraising campaign, the Comunità di Sant’Egidio has upgraded its “Emergenza sanitaria 2020 - Viva gli Anziani” (Healthcare emergency 2020 -Long Live the Elderly) programme, to provide home care services and to help meet the daily needs of elderly people, and avoid them having to go out. The association’s volunteers deliver shopping and meals to the beneficiaries’ homes at no cost, help collect prescriptions and basic necessities, and accompany the old people to urgent medical appointments that can’t be postponed. Also essential is the telephone support service to listen to the senior citizens, ask how they are and whether they need anything, and provide them with useful information to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Home is the place where the elderly can be looked after best and, above all, it’s where they want to be”, explains Stefania Murari, the programme coordinator. “Enel Cuore has been helping us for many years with financial backing that has been very important for us. Now the programme is active, not just in Rome, but in Novara, Genoa, Catania, Brindisi, Civitavecchia, Sassari, Amatrice and Naples”.
Caritas Italiana, on the other hand, is working on the frontline to respond to the healthcare, social and financial emergency experienced by people and families living in extreme poverty. Our contribution will support the association’s provision of food to the needy through the network of “Solidarity Emporiums” and services to distribute basic necessities (food, home and personal hygiene products). Beneficiaries of the project will be able to shop at the ‘Emporiums’ using a points-based card. “We liked the idea that people could take back the ability to choose, using virtual credit they can pick baby foods rather than pasta depending on their own needs”, explains Gennaro Di Cicco, of Caritas in Roma.
"We are particularly produ to have supported, through ou fundraiser, those who are helping the people most severely affected by the emergency. It's a way help them start again, but from a stronger position then before, while making sure that no one is left behind."
Filippo Nicolò Rodriguez, Enel Cuore Board Member
For people with disabilities, the Covid-19 emergency and the resulting lockdown has had a very high cost, both in terms of their health and their social wellbeing. For this reason, the Federazione Italiana per il Superamento dell’Handicap (The Italian Federation for Overcoming Handicaps) is committed to ensuring that its beneficiaries can continue their medical treatment and rehabilitation programmes, in addition to offering personal and family-based psychological support and assistance linked to daily life, from help studying to doing the shopping. “Italy is experiencing a rebirth and this will be possible also thanks to support from Enel and Enel Cuore,” explains Vincenzo Falabella, president of F.I.S.H. “This gives us great hope for the actions that we will put in place to support those who today, unfortunately, experience disability and above all the economic burden that this pandemic has placed on us all”.
The donation to the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (Food Bank Foundation) will be used to upgrade the distribution network for food banks, especially in central and southern Italy, with the hiring of new staff, the acquisition of temporary storage spaces, the purchase of personal protective equipment and fuel for the vehicles that transport the food, as well as scheduled and extraordinary cleaning. “This fundraising initiative has been absolutely fundamental in maintaining the support provided to around 8000 charities that now help more than 2 million people across Italy”, explains Giovanni Bruno, president of the Foundation.
The Group’s fundraiser also contributed to #NoiConGliInfermieri (We are with the nurses), the fund set up by the National Federation of Professional Nurses (FNOPI). “The Federation represents 450,000 nurses in Italy and 180,000 of these are currently engaged in activities relating to the virus. More than 10,000 nurses have contracted the virus so far and unfortunately 40 of them have died”, explains Lorio Rizzo, head of fundraising at FNOPI. The fund is intended in particular to provide physical and psychological support for nurses who have fallen ill while carrying out their work, financial and psychological support for those forced to self-isolate after having contracted the virus, and finally financial and social support for the families of nurses that have died as a result of Covid-19.
This initiative has shown that, even though we need to stay physically distant from one another, it is still possible to stand together in solidarity. Our experience is proof of just that.