To commemorate Samantha Cristoforetti’s appointment as Unicef Italy Goodwill Ambassador, and her consolidated international recognition for being an inspiring example of international cooperation. Cristoforetti has visited refugee camps in the Mediterranean. Known for its tropical-like waters, laid-back life style and friendly hospitality, the area has become a frontier for refugees women, moms and children and young men who flee from uncertain environments and wars in Africa.
Rome. December 21, 2015. A cozy Christmas atmosphere on occasion of the Winter Solstice night at the Olympic stadium. The spirit of ancient roman arts lives and thrives in modern designs: Unicef-Italy‘s President appoints ESA astronaut Cristoforetti Unicef-Italy Goodwill Ambassador.
Nominated among the international influential Women in 2015, Cristoforetti holds the rank of Italian Air Force Captain and is the first Italian female astronaut to fly to space. Shortly after her return from the International Space Station, before her months-long international post-flight tour, Cristoforetti is awarded by Italy’s President, Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (the highest ranking honor and most senior order of the Republic of Italy).
Despite her remarkable achievements, Cristoforetti conveys messages that go beyond personal successes, geographical and cultural boundaries.
In the Olympic stadium a large crowd has gathered to support Unicef Italy fundraising event: “The Champions Match”, a friendly football match played among the most relevant personalities of the Italian show business, world renowned Italian sports athlets and football champions. An event beautifully organized down to the smallest detail as part of Unicef-Italy fundraising campaign aimed at helping children living in war zones, children facing difficulties and living in unsafe environments, around the world.
First in on the green field is Italian Air Force music band. The music announces Unicef_Italy President and Cristoforetti’s stage entrance. While they walk to the center, the solemnity of the ceremony, strangely, feels familiar: press and supporters flashes unfold along the shape of Rome’s prestigious landmark; under the chilly night sky lit by the moonlight, people’s breaths swirls rise in the air . The moment has come, announces the speaker: Unicef_Italy President presents Cristoforetti with the humanitarian award for her work as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. Cristoforetti joins the teams in the field and is in charge of the first symbolical ball kick: start, and the game begins while the stadium lights up among encouraging applauses.
To symbolize the spirit of national unity, cultural and universal values that United Nations, Unicef, Unicef_Italy and Italy as a nation promote, children, young sports-men and women, traditional folkloristic groups from different regions of Italy delight the public with their colorful historical costumes, and display their abilities as artists. The sound of drums, flutes, trumpets convey the universal message of unity that music promotes, which Unicef-Italy Director General welcomes with enthusiasm.
Humbled, grateful and honored for the opportunity to partecipate to such a meaningful event. A celebration of the work that Unicef and Unicef_Italy undertake on a daily basis and of the international recognition of its Ambassadors’ prestige: a cooperation thanks to which many more children around the world receive protection and safety for their future.