Soleterre 4 - That's amore capri

That’s Amore Capri: when culture does good, thanks to Soleterre

We continue our journey to discover Fondazione Soleterre, which the exhibition That’s Amore Capri helps, supporting it financially, helping young cancer patients and their families. This time also, it will be Aldo Velardi, Corporate Manager and Major Donors of Soleterre, to explain their work.

Let’s talk about the Great Cancer Project. What is it?

It is a national and international program of pediatric oncology whose name refers to the challenge of children with cancer to be able get cured, overcoming the disease and growing up, but also underlines the fact that everyone who contributes to support the project makes a great gesture of solidarity against cancer.

The aim of the program is to improve the quality of life of cancer patients, supporting their families through psychological support, with financial support and providing free accommodation facilities: the Soleterre Homes. In addition, the programme contributes to funding scientific research programmes and the rehabilitation of hospital spaces by developing training programmes on prevention and early detection. Every year, the project reaches about 3,000 beneficiaries among minors and their families in Italy and worldwide”.

What was Soleterre’s reaction to the war in Ukraine?

“Soleterre is currently active in 8 countries, including Ukraine since 2003. It was very important for us to start working there, because the incidence of cancer was and still is very high, especially after the Chernobyl disaster. Children are among the most affected. In 2022, the conflict aggravated the situation of cancer children and their families. Soleterre, near the hospitals, runs shelters that host parents forced to stay away from their home for the time of their children’s stay; with the outbreak of war, these were no longer safe places. Therefore, we organized, just a week after the first attacks, a large evacuation: more than 170 children and mothers were put on board of medically assisted flights and reached Lombardy and from there the hospitals of Pavia and Milan, then also those of Rome, Genoa and Florence.

It’s impossible to think that you have to heal in a country at war, both psychologically and for objective reasons, because you have to take shelter quickly in the underground during the attacks. Frequent power outages also hinder chemotherapy sessions… So we opened a house in Pavia to accommodate 14 families from Ukraine and treated the kids at the Policlinico San Matteo, trying to help those who had the courage to leave, out of the blue, their home and their affections, or perhaps had no other choice. Those who instead decided to stay, or were unable to leave because their conditions were too serious, received medicines and life-saving therapies in Lviv. A total of over 6 tons of drugs were sent. In addition, near Lviv, last November, Soleterre opened a new reception house that permanently accommodates 70 people; in this case it is not only about oncological patients, but in front of such an emergency it makes no sense to make differences. Here, found shelter children who suffer wounds and war traumas and homeless refugees from the Donbass”.

What is the impact of the collaboration between That’s Amore Capri and Soleterre?

“We have identified for this collaboration the more to the south hospital with which we collaborate with, that of Taranto, wanting to emphasize a relationship of great proximity to the island. Soleterre collaborates with the SS hospital Annunziata of Taranto since 2018, offering economic support to families who receive a diagnosis of cancer, and who are forced to undertake what in jargon we call a “health migration”, from more distant cities or neighboring regions (Calabria and Basilicata). Thanks to every single donation, we can guarantee their stay in Taranto and offer them psychological support since the communication of the diagnosis and for all the time of the treatment, both to the minor and to the reference persons. The donations collected on the occasion of the events of the exhibition, translate into hours of psychological support and in resources to ensure hospitality; in the future, if the generosity of people will continue to be so high, we could start new projects and respond to the needs, which are always many, with one goal: to improve the living conditions of these children and their families. Because every child with cancer has the right to grow up”.


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