October 1963. In the Vajont disaster, in the North East, 1900 people had just died and the reaction of the Italians was unprecedented: 330 million lire donated for the orphans, the wounded and the destroyed villages. That was practical aid for 2,200 families, reached in record time by the newspaper’s correspondents, with the same spirit with which Specchio dei tempi still operates all over the world after the most serious calamities. From Friuli to Irpinia, from Sicily to San Giuliano, passing through Emilia and Central Italy: we are the ones who rebuild schools after the earthquakes, to help communities get back on track. We have made 17 in Italy, always in record time. The latest in Arquata del Tronto, a village near Amatrice, torn apart by the shocks of August 2016, where we also financed a gym and subsidies for businesses and new parents, for a total of almost 4 million euros.
Another 10 schools were built abroad. And then hospitals, clinics, villages, bridges, such as those put back on their feet after the flood in Piedmont in 1994. An episode of unique solidarity, with 24 billion lire collected and months of work on site by our journalists. We have never forgotten that tragedy: the pain and pride of our people, the same people who for decades supported Specchio projects, and suddenly, in the “days of mud”, found themselves having to ask for help.
The generosity of Specchio supporters knows no bounds, so in sixty years we have intervened everywhere: in Asia for the tsunami, in Somalia for the famine, in Mexico and Nepal after the earthquakes, in Sri Lanka after the Easter 2019 attacks. When there is an emergency, we always try to be the first to arrive and the last to leave. We have learned that doing good is not enough, you have to do it quickly. And that to really help a people to get back on their feet, we need to stay close to them and rethink projects. Just as we have been doing in Sri Lanka, every day, since the 2004 tsunami.