Mwana Simba - Finmeccanica for Africa
In ancient Roman times, maps of the unexplored areas of Africa and the Middle East bore the Latin phrase "hic sunt leones" (there are lions here) - the Roman way of saying that they knew little about the flora and fauna of the area beyond the intuition that there would be wild animals.
Some scholars say that the Romans continued to use this phrase following the wars with Carthage, not so much to indicate unknown places, but rather out of respect for the enemy encountered in Africa, who had proved as difficult to defeat as lions.
Today Africa is no longer an unknown continent, and lions are no longer seen as enemies, rather they evoke respect for their proud bearing. A proverb in Swahili - a Bantu language widespread in eastern, central and southern Africa - says "Mwana simba ni simba", meaning "A lion cub turns into a lion".
Present-day Africa is a land of enormous potential thanks to its wealth of natural resources. However, most of the continent suffers from a serious economic, social and technological gap compared to developed countries: its share of world trade is no more than 2%; the population is growing more rapidly than the economy; the burden of foreign debt remains very high; health problems are immense, especially malaria, intestinal illness, and the AIDS epidemic.
For this reason, Finmeccanica traditionally carries out its charitable work where the need is most urgent, and for years it has been supporting D.R.E.A.M.- Drug Resource Enhancement against Aids and Malnutrition, the first comprehensive programme to deal with the prevention and treatment of AIDS in Africa.
Beginning with Mozambique in 2000, the programme has since expanded to other African countries. It aims to prevent, diagnose and treat the infection by means of specific tests and treatment with antiretroviral medicines - which have had significant results worldwide - especially for pregnant women, so that the virus is not transmitted to their babies. Thanks in part to Finmeccanica's support, the community has achieved results that are far better than expected. Now, out of all the HIV-positive mothers who undergo regular treatment, 97% of their babies are born healthy.
Unfortunately, the scourge of AIDS is only one of the diseases that afflicts the African continent. If education is an undeniable right and a milestone for building the future of new generations, this is even more true in Africa, where something like 45 million youngsters do not even get a basic education.
Against this background, Finmeccanica again confirms its support for Africa, in the conviction that the future starts from there, from building a sustainable society for the future of the young people of this enormous continent with great potential.
And the Group has chosen as its motto the Swahili proverb "A lion cub turns into a lion". The pride and strength of Africa are in the eyes of these young people. One day in the future, thanks to study and training programmes as well as access to specialized knowledge, they can become the protagonists of their countries' development, leading towards the future.
This future can be reached together, through the educational system in African countries. In particular, Finmeccanica intends to confirm its support for Africa, with three new charity projects:
NIGERIA Project : The Festival of Science in Owerri, Nigeria.
CONGO Project : Setting up vocational training schools, working with Salesian missions.
CAMEROON Project : Setting up a church, school buildings and a medical camp in Mbanda, Cameroon.
An innovative approach: Voluntary work by Group employees
The common thread linking these three projects is the intention to support the self-realisation of young Africans in their own countries, enabling them to build their own future in the communities where they live and were born. The focus is therefore on people, with their needs and their hopes. This is a demanding and complex objective. To carry it out, Finmeccanica will involve its most valuable resources in the front line - in other words, people, the Group employees, whose contribution will become an experience of significant value in human and cultural terms. The sites in Africa involved in these humanitarian projects will be open to welcome Group employees, for short periods, who wish to take part, as volunteers, alongside the professional operators, in the various activities of the three projects.
TO MAKE A DONATION
Organisation: Association Assumpta Science Center Owerri (ASCO)
Bank: Banca Prossima S.p.A.
Account in the name of: Assumpta Science Center Owerri
Bank coordinates (in Italy): I 03359 01600 100000004003
Bank coordinates (abroad): IBAN IT 29 I033 5901 6001 0000 0004 003
Congo project - Cameroon project
Organisation: VIS "Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo"
Bank: Credito Artigiano
Head office: Rome - Via San Pio X, 6/10
Account in the name of: VIS "Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo"
IBAN code: IT 81 P 03512 03200 000000020000
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO SPECIFY THE NAME OF THE PROJECT ON THE BANK TRANSFER,
E.G.: "NIGERIA PROJECT", "CONGO PROJECT", "CAMEROON PROJECT".
One way of supporting the three projects is to buy things from the Finmeccanica Store. Part of the proceeds goes to the "Mwana Simba" initiative. http://www.finmeccanicastore.it/