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Italy- Bosnia – Help for 15,000 orphans

“Forty-two trips and 15,000 children are numbers that tell a 20-year solidarity and success story for the Italian Development Cooperation and the Luciano Lama Association in Bosnia. This bridge of friendship between Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina each year brings hundreds of Bosnian orphans to as many Italian families”, Ambassador Ruggero Corrias said as he welcomed representatives of the “Luciano Lama” Association, orphanages and social centres in Banja Luka, Mostar, Zenica and Turjia, ministries and federations of independent trade unions of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska to the Embassy in Sarajevo. Also present were some of the 300 children who this year will be hosted by families in the regions of Sicily and Molise for a holiday in Italy to discover the values of dialogue and intercultural exchange.

Association activities

In addition to holding the record for number of temporary placements in Italy since it was set up in 1998, the “Luciano Lama” Association conducts humanitarian activities in Bosnia – with a contribution from the Italian Cooperation of over 720,000 euro – as well as offering assistance and education to children and young people in difficulty. The NGO has also set up reception and sustainable development centres in various parts of the country ((Mostar, Visegrad, Ilijas, Srebrenica, Zenica).

Italy’s part

“Italy has always been concerned with the defence of the rights of minors”, Ambassador Corrias said, “with a constant and coherent commitment, both on the ground as in the case of Bosnia, as well as within the United Nations, in support of an international legal framework designed to defend children in situations of conflict, post-conflict and distress”.