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UNHCR "Angels" fundraising campaign takes off in Italy


UNHCR "Angels" fundraising campaign takes off in Italy

The UN refugee agency has launched a campaign to encourage the Italian public - UNHCR's top private donors - to donate at least 8 euros every month to adopt, assist and protect a refugee family.
24 December 2003
Eight euros is all it takes to adopt a refugee family, says UNHCR's new fundraising campaign in Italy.

ROME, Dec 24 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency has started a special fundraising campaign in Italy to encourage its top private donors to adopt refugee families and provide them with assistance and protection.

The "Angels" campaign was launched in Rome on Monday with the tagline: "Little is needed to become an angel. Little things you do every day are the real miracles. A little monthly donation is enough to help a refugee family every day of the year."

UNHCR hopes to encourage the Italian public - the agency's top private donors worldwide - to donate at least 8 euros per month over a year to their adopted refugee family. This donation will help refugees through emergencies and to rebuild their lives afterwards.

"Unlike previous campaigns that focus on refugees in need of tents and blankets, this campaign focuses on the donors," said Lionello Boscardi, UNHCR's fundraising officer in Rome. "We're showing that just as they care for their families, they can also care for other people, like refugees. And even though they can't help the refugees directly, they can do so through UNHCR."

In return, donors will be invited to join UNHCR's "Angels" club, through which they will be informed of upcoming events and operations. Planned activities include the premiere of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie's movie, "Beyond Borders", in late January, and a possible "Pavarotti and Friends" concert in May. UNHCR is also planning to invite a small group of "Angels" club members on a mid-year field trip, after which they will report back to other members on their experience.

As part of the fundraising campaign, UNHCR produced a 30-second TV spot that was a small miracle in itself. It was completed within two weeks after Goodwill Ambassador Giorgio Armani put UNHCR in touch with Italian director Gabriele Muccino and his production team. Everyone worked for free - including Actress Margherita Buy and composer Ennio Morricone - while Armani contributed money to help UNHCR buy airspace on Italian TV.

The "Angels" campaign is being advertised on television, radio and in print, as well as through direct marketing and telemarketing in Italy. CNBC is also broadcasting the TV spot throughout Europe from today till mid-January.