Specchio d'Italia is a Specchio dei tempi project. In recent years, our foundation, which has deep roots in the city of Turin, has increasingly ventured outside the borders of Piedmont. As always, it has done so pushed by emergency-related interventions, starting to move in an increasingly structured, more continuous, more effective way.
We believe that the intervention of Specchio dei tempi in Arquata del Tronto, a town devastated by the earthquake in central Italy in 2016, is a model to be developed: we reached the area a few hours after the tragedy and we started working with that community, to bring it back to life. Our experience gained from many other calamities was made available. The splendid school, which those people wanted to name precisely after our foundation (a gesture for which we are moved), is today the monument to that effort, made possible by the donations of tens of thousands of readers of La Stampa. But then we continued to work with them: we didn't leave, we stayed. Starting up other initiatives, from financial support for small businesses, to the construction of the gym, to the allowance of 2000 euros for each child born, to support the activities of the children of our schools.
We think that the Specchio dei tempi intervention in Sri Lanka, developed during 15 years of activity, after the tremendous tsunami of 2004, represents the most correct way to support a country that is trying to rid itself of ancestral poverty. With structural initiatives, but above all with a continuous presence. Because everyone is good at creating a project, but few are able to continue building over time.
We have grown so much and today Specchio dei tempi is able to give hope even far from Piedmont. Some donors asked us to export our social planning: hence the work that we have been developing for almost a year in Genoa, Rome, Milan. The Coronavirus emergency pushed us, on input from the Reale Group and the Cassa di Risparmio di Asti Group, to extend to other regions in record time: Lombardy, Liguria, Veneto, Friuli and Valle d'Aosta.
We have taken to these regions the support programme for families and elderly people in difficulty that we tested in Turin in the first months of the pandemic. A project with which we had already distributed over 6000 free grocery deliveries, which allowed us to distribute thousands more throughout the Italian territory. In Sassari and Venice, we are supporting the recovery of small businesses overwhelmed by the lockdown, through two dedicated projects. We are offering hundreds of non-repayable grants (3,000 euros each) to businesses in crisis due to the pandemic. This way, we want to make feel the affection and solidarity of our donors in these cities as well. A start.