“The world has shrunk to such a point that it is up to each one of us to do everything possible to help those in need, even if they are thousands of miles away”. These words, spoken by the Alitalia CEO, Francesco Mengozzi, summarise the Company`s awareness and sensibility to problems deriving from economic misery and the technology gap, which affect such a large part of humanity, and which, in today`s global village, the other part is only too well aware of.
Alitalia has decided to give its backing to the Calendar of Solidarity, set up by the news magazine “Famiglia Cristiana”. As one of the sponsors of the project, together with other leading companies and institutions, Alitalia is keeping up a tradition of humanitarian initiatives (often not publicised) which forms part of the Company`s unwritten mission (but not for this less felt) in its role as Italy`s number-one airline.
As an example, we should mention the flight on December 19, 2001, when hope travelled on board an Alitalia Boeing 767, on the Rome-Islamabad route. The Company had taken up an invitation by the Italian Red Cross to make available one of its aircraft to transport 14 tons of food, blankets and medicines, donated in support of the Tahya-e-Maskan orphanage in Kabul, where more than 850 children between the ages of five and twelve were housed in precarious conditions, with serious problems of food and medical supplies. This was the first Italian humanitarian operation in Afghanistan and the donations collected were handed over to the city`s hospital and to the Red Cross anti-mine centre.
“This is our Christmas gift to children in need, a small gesture to give them hope for a better life,” said Francesco Mengozzi on that occasion.
In terms of the personal commitment of Company employees, exactly a year ago the Association “Area Solidarietà Alitalia ONLUS” was set up as a no-profit organisation with the aim of helping abandoned children anywhere in the world. During the first year of activity, medicines, food and clothing have been collected and distributed to needy children in Ghana and in India. In the planning stage for the near future are projects involving the construction of schools, hospitals and welcome centres.The Association is wholly supported by economic help from Alitalia Group employees who generously make their contributions so that a part of humanity which yesterday had no voice, tomorrow will at least be able to say “Thank you!”