BETTER TOGETHER: The OTB and the Zegna Foundations have joined forces to support Cesvi, an Italy-based humanitarian organization that has been providing assistance to Ukrainian families impacted by the conflict.
Targeting pregnant women and mothers with children under five, as well as disabled people and the elderly who couldn’t flee the country, the organization is providing linens, pillows, warmers and hygiene kits.
Thanks to the two foundations, Cesvi said it has already helped around 1,000 families across several sites in the war-torn country, including Odessa, Dnipro, Kramatorsk and Kyiv.
“We have supported Fondazione Cesvi for over 15 years, in Italy and globally, wherever natural disasters, conflicts or health emergencies required a swift and effective intervention to support local people,” said Anna Zegna, president of the Zegna Foundation.
“In addition to sharing the same values of human solidarity and defense of social justice, we share the same operative approach, in that we focus on concrete goals, which we rapidly achieve thanks to knowledge of the areas of intervention and ability to set up support networks that are respectful of the local context and cultures,” she added.
The Zegna Foundation has partnered with Cesvi in the past, for example, for the “From A to Zegna” charity initiative aimed at supporting educational programs globally.
Similarly, the OTB Foundation has had Cesvi on its radar. The organization’s “House of Smile” homeless shelter in Zimbabwe was among the recipients of the 2019 OTB Foundation’s “Brave Actions for a Better World” charity program.
Among the earliest responders to the humanitarian crisis linked to the conflict, the OTB Foundation answered the urgent appeal launched by UNHCR and has provided the country with medicines, first-aid kits and necessities, shuttling back Ukrainian women and children. It also made sure that refugees could take COVID-19 tests and be vaccinated and helped them find accommodation in private houses or residences. Earlier this month, the foundation and the OTB Group said they will be offering long-term employment to Ukrainian refugee, as reported.
“We have no intention to leave those who were not lucky enough to flee their country alone,” said Arianna Alessi, vice president of the OTB Foundation. “This is part of the campaign the foundation has launched to support Ukraine, and it addresses the population target that is closer to our hearts: women and children,” she added.
Cesvi was founded in 1985 in Bergamo, Italy, and now operates in 23 countries through about 100 projects called “Houses of Smiles” in Africa, Latina America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.