Once again we want to thank the American tour operators Country Walkers and VBT. Over the last years, they have contributed to our campaign against protection rackets in Sicily through their Sustainable Travel’s fund program.
VBT and Country Walkers are both market leaders in active vacations: the former is specialized in walking tours, the latter in bike tours. They operate in five continents and in a large number of countries.
As they believe that tourism should help to preserve the natural environments and to strenghten the local communities, they make a donation on behalf of each traveler, which goes toward supporting sustainability projects around the world.
Their Sustainable Committee helps ensure that all of our biking and walking tours preserve and support their destinations through cross-cultural connections and energy-efficient practices.
In Sicily, they both chose to support Addiopizzo and since 2015 in December we receive a donation from them.
After a particularly difficult year, we want to express our sincere gratitude to Country Walkers and VBT Bicycling Vacations for their 2021 donation. It means a lot for us, since the budget of Addiopizzo during the last couple of years has been strongly impacted by the economic consequences of the pandemic.
With their generosity, our American friends helped Addiopizzo to keep doing its core activities and start new ones, to empower the local community and help the shop owners who rebel to the Mafia, to intervene with social outreach and build resiliene in time of hardship.
A big GRAZIE from Sicily to USA!
With the new year coming, we’re looking at the goals achieved during 2021 as Addiopizzo and Addiopizzo Travel associations.
THE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN AGANIST EXTORTION
As usual, we pursued the awareness campaign against racketeering by meeting entrepreneurs, and customers. Also we are carrying on the critical consumer campaign “I pay those who dont’pay”, a collective practice that encourages consumers to make their purchases in enterprises and business that do not bend to the mafia conditioning.
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EDUCATION AT PIAZZA MAGIONE
With the help of several associations and local support, we restarted sports activities in public spaces, after the forced break beacuse of the pandemic issue. The target are children of the neighborhood Kalsa, especially those who wouldn’t have the chance to do sports otherwise, because of economic and social conditions or distance. In such context we are also a part of the project “People Sport in Public Space” that has the purpose of building a sense of community around sports.
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THE LAUNCH OF THE PROJECT: “LIBERATION ONGOING”
Over fifteen years, we have assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs in the difficult path of cooperation and report through a specific help-desk of technical staff and volounteers of the association. Last year we achieved another important step with the launch of the project: “Liberation ongoing”, financed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The aim of the program is to offer legal, psychological and economic help to the victims of extortion and usury in Palermo.
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A EUROPEAN MOBILITY PROJECT: ADDIOPIZZO AND FONDEN KANTARA
In 2021 we also had the opportunity to meet the friends of Fonden Kantara in Copenaghen, within a project of European mobility for young people engaged in social works.
VACCINE HUB IN OUR HEADQUARTER
Last but not least, because of the Covid-19 emergency, we tought it was important to give our contribution to the community by offering our headquarter as a vaccine hub for the people of the district. A successful initiative which provided these people to get care otherwise they wouldn’t have access to.
All the activities we carried out this year were also attended by our young volounteers of the community service. A way to bring new energies and carry our projects forward.
Ancora una volta desideriamo ringraziare i tour operator Country Walkers e VBT, che negli ultimi anni hanno contribuito alla nostra campagna contro il pizzo in Sicilia.
VBT e Country Walkers sono entrambi leader nel mercato delle vacanze attive: il primo è specializzato in escursioni a piedi, il secondo in tour in bici. Operano in cinque continenti e in un gran numero di Paesi.
Poiché credono che il turismo debba aiutare a preservare gli ambienti naturali e rafforzare le comunità locali, fanno una donazione per conto di ogni viaggiatore, che va a sostenere progetti di sostenibilità in tutto il mondo.
Il loro “Comitato Sostenibile” aiuta a garantire che tutti i nostri tour in bici e a piedi preservino e sostengano le loro destinazioni attraverso connessioni interculturali e pratiche efficienti dal punto di vista energetico.
In Sicilia entrambi hanno scelto di sostenere Addiopizzo: dal 2015, a dicembre riceviamo da loro una donazione.
Dopo un anno particolarmente difficile, vogliamo esprimere la nostra sincera gratitudine a Country Walkers e VBT Bicycling Vacations per la loro donazione del 2021. Significa molto per noi, dal momento che il bilancio di Addiopizzo negli ultimi due anni è stato fortemente condizionato dalle conseguenze economiche della pandemia.
Con la loro generosità, i nostri amici americani hanno aiutato Addiopizzo a continuare a svolgere le sue attività principali e ad avviarne di nuove, a responsabilizzare la comunità locale e aiutare i commercianti che si ribellano alla mafia, a intervenire con il sociale e a costruire resilienza nei momenti di difficoltà.
Un grande GRAZIE dalla Sicilia agli USA!