July 22 2003
SOS Children's Villages celebrates 50 years of the Caldonazzo holiday camp
22/07/2003 - Over the weekend, some 1,400 children from 46 SOS Children's Villages across Europe celebrated the 50th anniversary of their holiday camp in Caldonazzo in Italy. The official part of the multicultural festivities also included the inauguration of a community house built with donations from passengers of Swiss Airlines.
Celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the SOS Children's Village holiday camp in Caldonazzo (province of Trentino, Italy) kicked off with colourful multicultural festivities over the weekend. Throughout the big party, some 1,400 children from 46 of the organisation's villages across Europe participated in the fun and games, and staged various national dance and singing performances.
"At this holiday camp we live in a spirit of togetherness. Children from all over Europe can experience a feeling of a united Europe," said SOS Children's Villages President Helmut Kutin. Children currently enjoying their summer holidays in Caldonazzo are from Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Every year, more than a thousand children from European SOS Children's Villages spend three to four weeks of their summer holidays on the banks of this north Italian lake. In 1953, the "Holiday Domicile" for SOS children was still very spartan and modest. 50 years later, Caldonazzo has become the epitome of the adventure holiday, the infrastructure includes a large kitchen, a canteen, a clinic and life guard. Within the programme for free-time, one can choose between sport, walking, swimming, handicrafts, theatre, dance, music, and circus.
An impressive fireworks show on the shores of Lake Caldonazzo opened festivities at the holiday camp in northern Italy last Friday. Guests attending the event included SOS Children's Village Ambassador Princess Salimah Aga Khan, the Mayor of Caldonazzo Mario Curzel as well as representatives of the organisation's partners FIFA and Swiss Airlines.
The official part of Saturday's program included the inauguration of a new community house at the holiday camp, which was built with donations collected from passengers of Swiss Airlines. Over the past seven months, Swiss Airlines collected more than 200,000 CHF in donations, which also served to renovate the 30-year-old medical centre. Swiss Airlines representative Luca Bianda handed over a symbolic cheque during the official ceremony.
Hundreds of multi-coloured balloons with attached messages of peace were symbolically sent around the globe during the "Children's Festival" on Saturday afternoon. A giant cake was cut and served to the children by President Kutin. Guests were then invited on a walk around the holiday camp to see performances staged by the children of the various SOS Children's Villages.