Italian embassy raises Rs8m for autistic kids

ISLAMABAD: Italian embassy raised Rs8 million at a black-tie fundraising event, a statement said on Saturday.

Italian artistes rocked the stage in the event held for the benefit of Pakistan autistic children. People were enthralled by the bold dance of southern Italy.

The Italian embassy’s fundraising gala dinner, titled ‘Rhythms and Passion of Southern Italy’ was held at Serena Hotel. It featured a performance by an internationally acclaimed Italian folk rock ensemble ‘Compagnia SoleLuna’, the statement continued.

The famed Neapolitan folk rock group has an extensive repertoire of Southern Italian popular music and dance, centered on the ‘Pizzica’, the ‘Taranta’ and the Neapolitan ‘Tammurriata’ that epitomise the fire, the rhythms and contemporary vision.

Experts highlight ways to support autism patients

Through the event, the embassy was able to raise over Rs8 million from the proceedings of the black-tie event, which went towards Shifa Foundation that is creating awareness for the early detection of autism, and the proper handling and care of autistic children, as well as a possible cure.

A live auction was also held during the event where three paintings were displayed which were made by autistic children from Oasis School, Lahore.

Guests made generous bids and all three paintings were sold within a few minutes. A lottery draw was held after the auction which gave away authentic Italian made gift items, a return air ticket from Islamabad to Rome and various other gift vouchers.

“Autism in children coming from underprivileged families often goes undetected,” said Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecarvo, highlighting the importance of awareness regarding autism.

“These donations will ensure the correct steps are taken to raise awareness about the condition and to encourage behavioral therapy in those affected.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2019.

Last year, Francis allowed a boy with autism to romp around the stage undisturbed

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