This article reveals details of three admirable charity initiatives, which have been developed in Monaco.
Since the earthquakes in Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015, the reconstruction programme in which the Monegasque Red Cross has taken part is gaining momentum. Following the earthquake which killed nearly 9,000 people and destroyed more than 500,000 houses, the Monegasque Red Cross was able to raise the sum of €470,000 to develop a reconstruction programme for the affected populations in the Dhading district .
This large sum was raised thanks to public mobilisation and a donation of 224,000 from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Other Red Cross organisations, in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, are also participating in this programme in partnership with the Nepal Red Cross, for a total amount of nearly one million euros.
While significant local administrative issues had delayed the start-up of activities by several months, the Monaco-Luxembourg Liechtenstein consortium is finally active. And it is working quickly, and effectively, thanks to its recognised expertise in the field of reconstruction. Over the past few months, more than 60 masons have been trained in earthquake-resistant construction techniques, and there has been ongoing reconstruction of several community structures (three schools of twelve classes and four community health centres). In addition to clearing roads, local teams are actively working to improve sustainable access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, notably by fixing water supply and storage systems in the area. Today, though an estimated 4 million Nepalese people are still living in precarious conditions, the country is gradually recovering. Dwellings remain the major concern for humanitarian aid organisations because more than 800,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in 2015.
The Mayor of Monaco and the association Children & Future have been able to establish a beautiful project: the creation of a unique swing, adapted for children with reduced mobility, at Princess Antoinette Park. It is an initiative that is in line with the policy of adapted structures put in place by the government and the town hall for a few years now. It was thanks to the No Finish Line solidarity race that the president of the Monegasque association, Ariane Favaloro, was able to raise the necessary funds.
“We wanted to collaborate with the town hall for a long time and we had the idea of this adapted swing project.”
“There is a regulation on new structures which are now obliged to have infrastructure adapted to people with reduced mobility. But as far as the older buildings are concerned, it is a matter of adapting them and making them accessible to all,” said Mayor Georges Marsan.
But this is not only for people with disabilities, as the Councillor of the Government-Minister of Social Affairs and Health Stéphane Valeri explained: “We are also thinking about people with strollers, the elderly but also about people who have undergone operations.” New projects are underway.
Paediatric hospital donation
The Monegasque association Children & Future has offered a gastroscope to the paediatric hospitals of Nice-CHU Lenval. The device, worth 32,000 euros, is used to perform endoscopies in very young patients. It is inserted through the mouth of the baby under anaesthesia.
“This gastroscope can be used in infants from 2.5 kg up to about 7 kg. It allows us to carry out explorations of the digestive track,” explained Dr.Valérie Triolo, a Paediatric Gastroenterologist, “which makes it possible to establish the diagnosis for example in the case of a child who vomits blood or who has swallowed a small object.”
The machine is used in several ways: research related to allergies, where it is used to perform biopsies in the oesophagus, intestines, etc., and to inflammatory pathologies, or even in cases of narrowed digestive pathways.
“The Lenval Foundation is pleased to collaborate with Children & Future,” stated Managing Director Arnaud Pouillart. “Like this association, we are working for the benefit of children. This tool is important in the management of care of very young patients.”
The President of Children & Future Ariane Favalloro noted that the financing of the gastroscope was made possible “thanks to the funds raised during No Finish Line 2016.” This sports and charity event, organised each year in the Principality, has the goal of supporting projects aimed at improving the living conditions in the areas of health, education, hygiene and child nutrition throughout the world. The donation will make it possible to carry out nearly 250 yearly examinations in the hospital in Nice.
These three charity initiatives show the level of generosity and ingenuity possible in Monaco today, stretching from the mountains of Nepal to helping local children.