High Education for Students and Social Activities for Sick Children at Dynamo Camp

Project location: ITALY, San Marcello Pistoiese
Project start date: June 2015 - Project end date: December 2016
Project number: 2015-033
Beneficiary: Associazione Dynamo Camp Onlus

Dynamo Camp is the first Recreational Therapy Camp in Italy, located in a WWF Oasis. It operates since 2007 and works in close collaboration with a consolidated network of 72 national hospitals and 50 pathology and families' associations. It hosts children and youths affected by acute and rare diseases, mostly onco hematological, neurological and diabetes. Over the last 20 years the incidence of cancer among children increased by 15%. A child undergoing treatment and continuous hospitalization stops living a normal life, he loses his childhood and grows up mollycoddled by everyone, because of the state of perpetual anxiety of his/her parents. Recreational Therapy helps sick children by preventing chronic depression and finding hope and happiness, in order to grow as healthy people, not only physically but also mentally. This is the first and most urgent issue related to the project: as the number of children and families coming to the Camp is significantly increasing, Dynamo Camp started to invest in a number of renovation works, listed as follows:

- highly equipped green areas
- Cabin E
- Cabin D (Cabins are "little homes" where children, families and volunteers sleep during sessions)
- multifunctional area
- Art Factory area: Dynamo Art Factory is one Dynamo's special projects (together with Radio Dynamo, Dynamo Studios and Dynamo Musical)
- gym
- Recreational Therapy activities rooms
- covered lounge area
- technical equipment rooms
- soccer field
- riding school and stable for horses

The growing development of the Camp's activities and the increasing number of children and families hosted from the beginning to today, for the reasons explained above, have determined the necessity to proceed towards an expansion of the Camp through the renovation of property and pre-existing spaces and the neighboring "Farm Area", to create a multifunctional area designed for a variety of recreational, educational and sport activities. With reference to this project, the real estate has a size of 335 sq. m., where 3 classrooms + 1 "coffee and relax area" (to be considered as 1 classroom from an operational point of view) will be created. Specifically, the Nando Peretti Foundation's contribution will cover part of the costs of one classroom.

This classroom will be in memory of Senatore Mario d'Urso, who was so committed to Dynamo Camp's Mission.

The classroom will be necessary for both:
• students of the "Institute for Social Business". This is a brand new project, which will presumably start in 2016, in partnership with Adriano Olivetti Foundation and Bocconi University;
• disabled children with movement-related difficulties, who may access the cabins and the staff lounges thanks to ramps positioned around camp;
• every child and family's member who will join the Camp from 2016.

This necessary as well as important investment will reach other important milestones - bearing in mind that the Association's mission is to support sick children and their families - :

• to improve life's quality of people hosted at the Camp (each stakeholder);
• to introduce geothermic energy - which is sustainable and innovative - in the geographical area;
• to introduce the culture of Social Entrepreneurship

The main objective of this initiative is to implement the necessary adjustments to create more space and to strengthen all organisational aspects due to the significant increase in children and families who are annually hosted at Camp. Thanks to the realization of a multipurpose space in the old farm area, children and families will be able to practice educational, recreational and sport related activities throughout the whole year, in a larger space with improved organization and logistics. New equipment will also be available. The realization of this classrooms is necessary and fundamental to enable all children to participate in the recreational activities with a certain continuity (thus not depending on weather phenomena). Furthermore, the construction of these structures will allow the Camp to host students of the "Institute for Social Business". From an operational point of view, the classroom will address the issues explained above through the following activities:

• seismic adjustment of the real estate
• laying of the waterproof floor
• cementing
• realization of new wood walls, with a positive environmental and visual impact and sufficiently acoustic isolated
• false ceiling and walls
• thermal insulation for each room
• security and urbanization costs
• buying of furniture - both for Recreational Therapy and for the Institute for Social Business

Additionally,  these investments are included in a relevant partnership agreement with Regione Toscana, through the remaining part of the preceding European Commission Program (FESR 2007 - 2013). Every work is carried out following sustainability criteria, both economically and environmentally, using alternative energy sources.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project. The short-term achievements of this project are being able to cope with the significant increase in children and families hosted at Camp, and thus having to create more efficient services.
In the long-term on the other hand, the classrooms will guarantee an available space for activities for both children and families all year round thus enabling them to fully benefit from Recreational Therapy, in a more constant way. The benefits of this form of therapy are noticeable not only physically but also psychologically, this is because children go back to having fun, laughing, and playing sports.
They go back to being children, they learn to access their inner strength and potential, to share their experiences and fight for their fears. All this nurturing context strongly acts on the psycho-social aspect of these children, as well as their emotional sphere too, helping them face the prospect of treatment with more energy and positivity. Another important outcome is related to the multiplier effect the "Institute for Social Business will create", both from a cultural and a numerical point of view. In fact, this is an innovative project, which will act as a catalyst of students coming from international environments: the geographic area of the Camp (Montagna Pistoiese) will take advantage from this.

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