2019 has been another exciting year for the Foundation. While supporting over one thousand student beneficiaries, this year we have started new project initiatives with partners in Cambodia, Burkina Faso, and Morocco, and launched a collaboration in Italy, where, as in other developed countries, the growth of inequalities has forced millions of people into poverty. Our first project in Italy will target underprivileged neighbourhoods in Catania, Sicily, providing education opportunities to small children from extremely poor families. We have enforced our collaboration with CIAI in Thailand and will be officially handing over the management of the Thailand project to CIAI as of 2020.
At the same time, thanks to the work of the movement of Fridays for Future sparked by Greta Thunberg, the world has been waking up this year to the alarm signals of scientists on the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced: our climate emergency. The next ten years will be critical to prevent irreversible global warming levels. We have supported the Fridays for Future movement from the beginning and urge individuals of all ages, organisations, institutions, companies, and governments to unite behind the science and sustain our youth. All our battles will be lost if we lose the fight to save our environment and world species. Climate Crisis and Social Justice are closely linked as the biggest polluters and carbon emitters are the large companies, rich countries, and wealthy individuals, whereas the less developed South and the most vulnerable members of society are the worst hit by climate change. 2019 has proven to be the hottest year on record, with the last five each reaching unprecedented temperatures. Throughout 2019, we have witnessed first hand the world over the devastating and destructive effects of our climate crisis: floods, droughts, fires, extremes events such as hurricanes, and levels of loss of biodiversity, deforestation, ice melting, and ocean acidification at unprecedented rates, while CO2 and greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, threatening all life on this planet as forests, ice caps, and oceans are nearing tipping points.
We must devote all our efforts to create a more equitable system, live sustainably and preserve our biosphere for ourselves and for future generations. For this Christmas and holiday season, make sustainable choices: gift contributions to worthy causes, support children’s education and green projects. Invest wisely towards a better future for all.
On a very sad note, I wanted to honor the memory of one of the Founding Board Members, Piero Martinotti, who tragically left us this November. We will be forever grateful for his contribution and tireless work for the Foundation and other humanitarian causes: he led an exemplary life at the service of humanity, committed to social justice and improving the lives of children in need around the world. We will be collecting funds in memory of Piero for the Burkina Faso project which he had contributed to launch and coordinated. We will appreciate any contribution, all donations can go a long way in making a difference for the communities we support.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of Hope, Action, and Social Justice. Thank you for your continued trust.