Milan – Our city, our home, our identity. A city that has always quietly got on with showing solidarity, compassion, and an openness to the world, while remaining committed to social enterprise.
The Milanese proverb ‘Milan, the city with a big heart’ reminds us of how the people of Milan have historically always looked out for their neighbours in times of difficulty, and of course during times of emergency, like that of the Covid-19 crisis that has hit the city so hard.
And yet, despite lockdown, plenty of initiatives took place to help the most vulnerable. Inter Campus, founded in Milan in 1997 as an expression of Inter's ethos, and the brainchild of President Massimo Moratti, remains dedicated to social solidarity and the thousands of children across the world who are denied this opportunity. Work has continued at full steam ahead and there are no plans of letting up any time soon.
Even if travel and field work have been suspended to protect everyone involved with the Campus – children, coaches, coordinators and staff alike – operations have been continued remotely. Using videos put together by Inter’s technical staff, with games to play at home, available to every household in the world, and of course in Milan, where there is an additional project running to engage with children with learning disabilities, in collaboration with Onlus. The videos were designed to address the specific needs of these children, to make sure that these little 'Intercampista' didn't miss out, as they have unfortunately been particularly affected by the necessary closure of the Campus in recent months. Another outstanding example of social enterprise during these trying times has been the Sport Therapy project, which involves children undergoing treatment at the paediatric onco-haematology ward of the Monza hospital in collaboration with the Maria Letizia Verga Committee, organising weekly training sessions with the children, right from their admission to the ward.
These activities were never suspended, and Inter Campus Coach Roberto Redaelli never ceased in his efforts to introduce some fun and games into the lives of the children to achieve something as close to normality as possible, and as the University of Milano-Bicocca has demonstrated, it achieved positive results on a medical level, too.
Even the ‘Gioco al Centro: playgrounds for all children’ project never ceased its operations. The projects aim to provide picnic areas with rides and games in public parks in each of the 9 Zones of Milan and is sponsored by the Milan Community Foundation – City, South-West, South-East, Martesana. Our President Carlotta Moratti is an advisor to the Foundation, and on the 19 September next year, a fourth 'inclusive park' will open at the Giardini Lucarelli in Zone 3, with facilities for all children, including those with disabilities. Inter Campus will also be involved in this important new project, bringing its international experience to the table to help provide optimal support for the children of Milan, and will run some football-related activities on opening day.