'Italy plays for peace': this is the humanitarian mission that will leave on Monday 27 March for Ukraine to support the civilian population after thirteen months of war.
An initiative organized by the Friars Minor Conventual, the Auxilium Cooperative, the Community of Sant'Egidio and the FIGC, with the support of the government, was presented to the Farnesina in the presence of Minister Antonio Tajani.
'Italy plays for peace' because football is the protagonist of this project: the humanitarian mission, which will leave Rome on March 27 to stop in Lviv and Kiev until March 30, will bring two trucks and a van with 24,000 animals of clothing including tracksuits, uniforms, sweatshirts, kits of the Italian national football team, balls and sneakers.
As well as medicines, baby food and a power generator.
Father Fortunato is on his third mission to Ukraine and he underlined that on this occasion he would like to bring "the beautiful heart of Italy".
And the presentation of the initiative at the Farnesina is also a way "to tell politics to show Italy the strength of politics", to "make people feel the instruments and places of peace".
Angelo Chiorazzo of Auxilium recalled that the mission will begin in Brussels where a branch of the peace olive tree and the Pope's encyclical Fratelli Tutti will be symbolically delivered.
"Wars make the streets deserted and make the boys who no longer play disappear for the whole wartime. And so we decided to bring a sign of Italy: we wanted to bring two thousand Italian uniforms to the boys, we reached 24 thousand items of clothing. We will bear this sign to every boy affected by the war", said Chiorazzo.
"Once again football in its social dimension shows itself in its ability to break down all types of barriers", underlined the president of the FIGC Gabriele Gravina, via video link from Malta (where the national team will be involved in the European qualifiers).
The sportswear will be a "gift" for "being close to those who suffer", like the Ukrainian people, Gravina underlined.
"The human costs of the war in Ukraine are huge and destined to grow, yet they are no longer the focus of public attention as in the past, now almost addicted to images of destruction. The humanitarian drama that affects women, children, the elderly and sick has somewhat disappeared from the spotlight", and in this perspective "this mission of ours wants to be a sign to all Italians that we have not turned off the spotlight on this drama", said Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant 'Egidio, "When Italy shows solidarity, it wins the best match of its life", concluded Father Enzo Fortunato.