In years characterized by a severe economic downturn we aim at contributing to foster social integration and inclusion.
As such, we support initiatives for social and occupational inclusion/reintegration and the rehabilitation of young people, particularly with cultural and sporting initiatives.
We believe in the value of diversity, giving our support to structured initiatives to enhance the experience of diversity, in terms of gender, race and ability.
Fondazione Assicurazioni Generali
Founded in 1982 with a social purpose, Fondazione Assicurazioni Generali promotes and supports national and international social projects, and leverages on a continuous, qualified economic and scientific assessment activity. With annual assets of 4 million euro, it provides assistance to the more vulnerable categories of society and carries out scientific, cultural and environmental research, choosing its initiatives with the help of an independent scientific committee.
In recent years the Foundation has adopted an action strategy aimed primarily at responding to the new needs that have emerged as a result of the economic crisis and the evolution in the field of scientific research.
The projects approved to date have mainly regarded:
- assistance for disadvantaged and disabled minors, and women in difficulty;
- research in the field of medicine; - support for awareness and education campaigns on the theme of healthcare for the prevention and early diagnosis of illnesses and addictions;
- the promotion of active aging, with the aim of improving the quality of life of elderly people;
- contributions to employment and integration through inclusion or reintegration in both the educational and working context;
- the protection and promotion of the environment and artistic and cultural heritage.
A family for every child
The Foundation has supported a project by the Movimento Famiglie Affidatarie e Solidali del Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco - a religious association that has worked in the suburbs of Rome since 1948 - to raise awareness, involve, educate and support foster families in the city of Rome, fostering the development of an attentive, supportive and welcoming local community.
The project is targeted at 350 families and minors in difficulty that live in the outskirts of Rome and aims to encourage recourse to foster care. A multi-skilled team of professionals and expert families organise self-help, family psychopedagogical support and permanent training meetings to assist in the difficult but exciting foster care experience. Since March 2014 the Movimento has met over 300 families, raising their awareness of the importance of opening their doors and their families to children in need.
At the present time over 40 children are being fostered and supported, in different ways, by a family.
A new look on Down syndrome
Nuove prospettive per ripristinare lo sviluppo cerebrale nella sindrome di Down (New prospects for restoring brain development in Down syndrome) is an international research project aimed at pharmacologically preventing the cognitive disability of Down syndrome. Backed by Assicurazioni Generali and the Foundation, the project involves a number of international research centres:
- Università di Bologna, Bologna; - Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara;
- Università Federico II, Naples;
- Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), Paris;
- Universidad de Cantabria, Santander.
Down syndrome is characterised by altered brain development due to the tripling of chromosome 21, whose mechanisms are not yet fully understood.
The discovery that treatment with fluoxetine a widely used antidepressant – may help to pharmacologically counter the negative effects of tripled chromosomes “downstream”, has opened a window on the treatment of the syndrome.
On this basis, the financed study – initiated on the basis of a protocol which also includes ethical assessments – has two main objectives:
- start a clinical trial with fluoxetine in children with Down syndrome (6 months of therapy and 6 months of follow-up) to determine if the drug improves cognitive skills;
- through laboratory experiments, identify new pharmacological therapies that will improve neurogenesis in Down syndrome and validate these therapies in stem cells taken from patients with Down syndrome.
The impact of the project, both in scientific and in social terms, is potentially huge: there are currently around 6 million people with Down syndrome and the incidence of births is 1:800/1,000. In addition, if proved valid, the therapy could be used for other neuro-development disorders.
A foundation against child abandonment
In Bulgaria, the European country with the highest level of child abandonment, we support the For Our Children Foundation, which for over twenty years has promoted the fostering of children that would otherwise be forced to live in orphanages.
Every year over 2,000 minors are abandoned in the country, while others are removed from unsuitable family environments.
The work of For Our Children has resulted in the construction of 18 family support centres and the fostering of 5,500 children to date.
In 2012 the Foundation launched the Family House project, a children’s home that can host up to five abandoned children or children taken away from their parents in a safe environment. Inhabited by a family and a team of experts, it is the first example of a children’s home opened in Bulgaria in accordance with European social services standards.
It is a temporary shelter where children can remain for a maximum of six months, with the goal of finding a long-term solution as quickly as possible, such as the return to their original families or the identification of a foster or adoptive family.
In 2014 the project was supported by a Cause Related Marketing initiative, named Safe home for our children, with the active involvement of our clients: for every home insurance policy sold in Bulgaria 1 lev (0.5 euro) was donated, for a total fund of 20,000 lev.
Nurture the young, create the future
Rainbow Life Family Support Programme is a project that was launched in Hong Kong in association with NGO The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BGCA) and whose mission, Nurture the Young Create the Future, was fully endorsed by Generali.
The NGO has been present in Hong Kong since 1936 and currently has 75 structures which help around 54,000 people a year.
The project targets children that have been excluded from the education system because of poverty and offers them alternative training opportunities.
In 2014, together with Generali employees, 20 children and their families were involved in activities including English lessons and seminars on parenting, and in a voluntary programme in families in the region of Guangzhou.