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Logo-CuorePaolo Balduzzi interviews Daniela Mori in Florence Florence is renowned all over the world for its beauty, its history and the myriad treasures of art it possesses. Moreover, during its long history, this city has also been enriched with a social sensitivity: there one finds lots of voluntary organizations in various areas, especially in the care of the poor and the sick. We could here mention that the first state in the world to abolish the death penalty was the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1786. Also, the confraternity ‘Misericordia’, inspired by the evangelical parable of the Good Samaritan, was the precursor of all the other voluntary organizations that sprung in Italy from the XIII century onwards.

Thus Florence, so rich in social awareness, was the optimal milieu for the actualisation of a great project such as the one calledHearts that melt’, promoted by the Unicoop of Florence. This project was started with the aim of garnering solidarity to make possible adoptions at a distance in many poor countries. Since its birth, however, it has turned out to be much more. Let us discover more about this by asking some questions to Daniela Mori, the person in charge of the social projects promoted by Unicoop of Florence.

Dr Mori, what were the original aims of the project ‘Hearts that melt…’?

“‘Hearts that melt…’ was started ten years ago, and its objective was to make people aware of solidarity during the Christmastide, a time when many are more focused on shopping. We wanted to offer people a more interior perspective of life by presenting some dramatic situations in poor countries and inviting them to do something positive about them. And, seeing that this proposal was coming from a commercial enterprise, people were enthused.”Il-cuore-si-scioglie2

Ten years! There must be lots of stories to narrate…

“I assure you there are many. However, the most important thing was that, from the very beginning, we saw coming together both lay and Catholic voluntary organizations. They were not afraid of ‘contamination’; on the contrary, they put in common their resources. These combined forces went all over Florence to speak to the citizens about the projects being planned in Brazil or Africa”.

The Project was a success, and even now there are new developments.

“That’s right. The adoptions at a distance have now reached 7000, and all are confirmed year in year out. Private individuals do these. As a commercial enterprise we decided to offer homes, schools and hospitals for the people living in deprived areas. In doing so we also provided jobs, and this helped many to remain in their own country rather than migrating in search of a better future. Thus, the adoptions were a starting point for a much bigger endeavour”.

(to be continued)
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