In a brief but heartfelt prize ceremony yesterday 15 UWC Adriatic students receive the “Premio alla bontà hazel Marie Cole” (16th edition), awarded by Hazel Marie Cole’s husband and friends. The purpose of the prize is to ensure continuity to the good deeds and generosity that were a distinguishing mark of this outstanding English lady who moved to Duino after her marriage and left a long-lasting impression on the duinese community and the College. The prize is implemented at three different levels, in order to reveal different kinds of good deeds that are made in everyday life: small actions that are often invisible but which can have a significant impact if brought to light. The first is an award that singles out primary and middle school students that have distinguished themselves through good deeds in their schools and communities; the second consists in providing financial assistance to UWC Adriatic students from developing countries and, thirdly, prizes for those who provide assistance to people who are not self-sufficient. The 15 UWC Adriatic students received the prize in the College Auditorium yesterday from Marchesa Etta Carignani, President of the “Premio Bontà Hazel Maire Cole” not-for-profit organisation, and from dott. Aldo Pianciamore, Secretary of the organisation and Hazel Marie Cole’s widower. The pocket money provided to our students is indeed a most welcome and valued contribution that students use in order to cover transport costs or to buy winter garments that are necessary to face the winter season in Duino and deal with small expenses other teenagers take for granted.
Before distributing the prizes, Marchesa Carignani reminded the students that they have a responsibility owing to the privilege they have of experiencing a transformative education and thanked them for their enthusiasm and commitment to the values of an education for peace and the celebration of difference, so that they “actually represent the world as it should be and as it will certainly be” thanks to their efforts when they leave Duino and go out into the world.
For their part, the students warmly expressed their gratitude. Kenisha, a second year student from Zambia declared enthusiastically that “Thanks to this prize I have been able to see Italy beyond the confines of the College and Duino”, while Kevin, first year from Hungary, explained that “Thanks to the Hazel Marie Cole Prize my family does not need to worry about how to support me in my everyday expenses”. Robert, a second year student from Armenia expressed his “deep gratitude to the promoters of the Prize, which makes students with financial difficulties feel like their more fortunate fellow students: it’s important that this initiative be able to continue and offer support to students in need”.
A highly significant statement was made by Nour: “Three years ago, my family had to flee Syria and go to Turkey…Leaving everything behind. There was no school for Syrian students, but I didn’t lost hope. I studied by myself until I could find a school. And I knew that someday I’d find a good opportunity for my education. I had to work several jobs to help my family, because they couldn’t even afford to send me to school. And after those three years. we found out that I obtained the scholarship to go to UWC Adriatic. My parents were worried about my life here: being so far away from them and with no money. My father started thinking about selling his car or maybe even borrowing money from someone just to make sure I could stay here for two years. And now, I am really glad and thankful for this gift, because it helped me for my education and to live in Italy away from my family. And hopefully now I can study for the IB, and get a good university and follow my dream of working to bring the world to peace again.”
Il Premio alla Bontà “Hazel Marie Cole” Onlus festeggia quest’anno il sedicesimo anniversario, dopo aver registrato negli ultimi anni un crescendo di interesse e successo. Dal 1999 alla fine del 2014 sono stati distribuiti complessivamente 274 premi nelle tre linee in cui è articolata la Onlus.
Al progetto della fondazione, voluto dal marito della scomparsa, Aldo Pianciamore, e dalla figlia Donatella, hanno aderito aziende italiane e straniere, amici e privati cittadini che hanno voluto in questo modo istituzionalizzare l’attività generosa e appassionata della scomparsa a favore della collettività. Da qui la denominazione del premio, affinchè, seguendone l’esemplare impegno umano e sociale, la bontà continui a generare bontà.
La prima linea premia atti di bontà nell’ambito della scuola elementare e media inferiore, la seconda fornisce pocket money a ragazzi provenienti da Paesi disagiati e vincitori di borse di studio per il Collegio del Mondo Unito di Duino e, la terza, premia chi aiuta le persone non autosufficienti. Del totale dei premiati 130 sono italiani e 144 stranieri.
Come consuetudine, il 13 luglio di ogni anno vengono assegnati i premi ai ragazzi della prima linea (scuole elementari e medie inferiori di tutta Italia) segnalati da direttori didattici, insegnanti, famiglie, per atti di bontà generalmente verso altri bambini. Con un record di richieste pervenute, quest’anno sono stati premiati cinque dei candidati segnalati: Chiara Siesto della provincia di Napoli, Ivan Fortunato di Bari, Giulia Lo Guzzo (Caltanissetta), Liliana Sbordoni da Cervasca in provincia di Cuneo, e la classe 2°E del Plesso Ummacolata – Scuola Teresa di Calcutta a Tremestieri Etneo in provincia di Catania. I premiati riceveranno complessivamente 5.400 euro, ripartiti equamente tra di loro, oltre ad una pergamena con medaglia – ricordo. Da quest’anno, a coloro che, pur segnalati, non sono stati premiati, la Onlus invierà la pergamena ricordo.