Soleterre and Andreotti & Brusone Philanthropy Fund, partnership for Morocco

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Morocco is a very special country for Soleterre, having been one of the very first contexts of intervention since 2002, the year the organization was founded.

Over time, many activities have been carried out, both in the field of social and work inclusion, with the Work is Progress program, and in the medical field, with fundamental interventions to strengthen the care of pediatric cancer patients in the country.

The latest project involved the launch of a Home for children with cancer in Marrakech, inaugurated in September 2022 thanks to the contribution of the Andreotti & Brusone Philanthropy Fund (represented in Italy by the Fondazione Andreotti Brusone).

A year after its opening, the House of Hope – this is its translation from the Arabic of Dar Amal – hosted 153 girls and 110 boys in 2023, with 228 parents, from the central-southern regions of the country.

The House of Hope, co-managed by Soleterre and the local association AMAL (Association des Malades Atteints de la Leucémie) gave each child with cancer the opportunity to sleep in one of the 13 rooms with their mother or father and offered spaces for sharing with educational, recreational and convivial activities to lighten the burden and the fatigue due to the chemotherapy cycles carried out at the Mohamed V Hospital in Marrakech,  that is a reference point for central and southern Morocco, an area that brings together a third of the country’s inhabitants.

The house did not cease its activities not even during the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that devastated Marrakech and the High Atlas Mountains on the night of September 8, 2023. The educators and psychologists of the house have always been at the side of the children and their families, increasing the moments of psycho-social assistance due to the strong trauma suffered.

The house has indeed suffered damage, especially to the walls of some rooms, but thanks to a new prompt contribution from the Andreotti & Brusone Philanthropy Fund and other donors, it has been possible to completely renovate it and bring it back to even improved conditions.

In the post-earthquake period, the operators in charge of the management of the house, including social workers and drivers, continued to act tirelessly as a liaison between the hospital department and the families, to organize visits and bring the children to appointments with therapy. The role of the psychologist made available by Soleterre was also fundamental, not only for the guests of the House but also for the hospital wards. A continuous synergy that has allowed all the children in treatment to never interrupt the path started for the treatment of cancer.

“The presence of the Andreotti & Brusone Philanthropy Fund was fundamental both in the difficult path of opening and starting a new structure in 2022, and during the emergency for the 2023 earthquake,” says Damiano Rizzi, president of Soleterre. “To know that we can count on their support allowed us to promptly repair the House, and to make our contribution to the ongoing national emergency: we reached the most remote villages affected by the earthquake and rescued 49 children with cancer and 6 adult cancer patients (plus 68 carers) so that they could continue their treatment in Marrakech, despite the roads were unusable and many of them had lost everything.”

Lamberto Andreotti and Pino Brusone, founders of the two organizations, said: “We are happy to know that our contribution has made Casa Dar Amal a reality: a place of excellence and humanity thanks to which it is and will be possible to expand and improve the welcome and care of children with cancer and their families in the south of the country. This project fully responds to the mission and objectives of our Philanthropic Fund and the Foundation.”