Rebuilding community in Italy after the 2016 earthquakes
The region of Marche in central Italy was battered by a series of strong earthquakes in 2016 that destroyed several cities and villages, including the famous city of Amatrice and the municipality of Valfornace in Macerata province.
The process of rebuilding and the return to a normal life has been slow; the citizens of these areas continue to face ongoing difficulties due to the lack of infrastructure.
“We had one hundred percent of the public facilities destroyed by the earthquake. And now, thanks to Amma and her volunteers, we have a new, splendid, community center,” said Massimo Citracca, the mayor of Valfornace.
“I will bring Amma’s embrace to everyone. It is the first time I have met her, but I will return, because I have known an exceptional organization.”
Volunteers with Amma Italia built the new multipurpose hall there to support the affected community. On November 10, 2019, Amma ceremoniously handed over the keys of the hall to Citracca.The event took place in Milan while Amma was on her annual tour of Europe.
Citracca expressed his deep gratitude and joy by thanking Amma, and he stressed the importance for the residents of Valfornace to once again have a space for social gatherings, after-school activities, and to celebrate holidays together.
The hall was officially inaugurated on December 21, 2019 in the presence of many community members. Citracca thanked the volunteers of Embracing the World for selflesslessly offering their hard work and time to construct the hall.
The president of Amma Italia, Marina Ghezzi, quoted Amma saying that, “The Christmas tree symbolizes the tree of life. Just as the Christmas tree has many decorations, so our very life has been blessed with many gifts, such as the faculty of discernment, love, compassion and the ability to forgive. It is up to us to make the most of these gifts."
The former president of Amma Italia, Patrizia Mercuri, and the engineer who designed the hall, Matteo Massaccesi, expressed their hope that this project will serve as a reminder for younger generations about how generosity and compassion can alleviate the pain and suffering experienced following difficult circumstances.
Amma has offered additional support to the community of Valfornace via GreenFriends Italy. Volunteers of the organization will support The Trillion Tree Campaign that Amma joined alongside other global organizations in March 2018. Amma Italia's focus is to donate and plant trees to help reintegrate bees in the Valfornace area.