Geico and Treedom: protecting the environment and helping youths at risk of criminality in deprived areas.

3 major projects: Cooperativa Sociale Resistenza Anticamorra, Naples, and Libera Terra for the lands of Catania, Syracuse and the Vesuvius National Park.

Milan xx June 2016. In perfect coherence with the respectful approach towards people and the environment which has always distinguished the Group, since 2014 Geico has been collaborating with Treedom, the innovative start-up created in 2010 in Florence by a young team determined to make the world a better place.

Treedom started from an incredible idea: to plant trees all over the world to make it a better place. This means promoting the implementation of agro-forest projects with the aim of achieving an array of benefits for the environment. The association has since become an important reference for all those who wish to help the environment, and not only. Since 2014, 250,000 trees have been planted in Senegal, Cameroon, Malawi, Argentina, Haiti, Italy, Kenya and Burkina Faso, with considerable positive impacts, also in social terms.

Treedom became a B Certified Corporation in June 2014, thus entering a network of enterprises which distinguish themselves in virtue of their environmental and social performance.

Treedom projects in Italy supported by Geico involve deprived areas with extremely high levels of unemployment, school drop-out rates and a lack of social services. Obviously with dangerous consequences for youths who live there. Geico-sponsored planting activities mostly occur on lands confiscated from the local Mafia and involve not only plantation, but also intense processing activities for agricultural products and a few services for tourism. Understandably, all this provides tangible employment and growth opportunities for the entire area involved.

Here below are further details on projects supported and sponsored by Geico.

Cooperativa Sociale Resistenza Anticamorra – Naples

The project is based in a peripheral area of Naples, specifically in the municipality of Scampia Chiaiano, on 14 hectares of land confiscated from the camorra, located in Selva Iacandona, Chiaiano.

Work placement opportunities are available to approximately 40 minors on these 14 hectares of land. The project also extends to activities for the transformation of agricultural products, and services for tourists in search of rural peace and tranquillity, without having to travel far, characterised by a new and respectful relationship with nature.

Therefore confiscated assets are transformed into work and growth opportunities for the area’s population. Agro-forest projects support a renewed relationship between youths and the land, grounded in the rediscovery of legality, the construction of new ties with nature and work, the bearer of rights and citizenship.

Libera Terra – Cooperativa Beppe Montana

The association Libera Terra was created in 1995, with the intention of stimulating civil society in its fight against the Mafia as well as the promotion of legality and justice. Currently Libera Terra coordinates over 1600 associations, groups, schools, ground level entities which are locally committed to the construction of political-cultural as well as organisational synergies, in order to spread the culture of legality. Libera Terra was created with the purpose of promoting wonderful yet difficult lands, starting from the social and productive recovery of assets confiscated from the Mafia, to obtain high quality products using methods which respect the environment and the dignity of people. It is also active in the local area, involving other producers who share the same principles, promoting the organic farming of lands.

Cooperativa Beppe Montana was created in 2010, the first ever Libera Terra cooperative in the Catania and Syracuse province. It pursues the objective of legality and justice, starting from the social and productive recovery of goods confiscated from the Mafia, to obtain high quality products using methods which respect the environment and the dignity of people.

Libera Terra – Progetto Vesuvio

Activities take place in two specific zones located in the inner land areas of the Vesuvius National Park: the lands of the Medicean castle of Ottaviano, an asset confiscated from the Mafia, and the lands of a therapeutic community for drug addicts in the Somma Vesuviana area, specifically in Masseria Allocca. The subjects involved are the social cooperative “OTTAVIA”, focused on employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and the association IL PIOPPO ONLUS, a social agency for territorial action. In total there are approximately 8 hectares around the castle, with an additional 10 hectares of the community. Both lands have PDO recognition (protected designation of origin for apricots, plums as well as coda di volpe and catalanesca grape varieties, not to mention the famous piennolo cherry tomato).

Since the outset, Geico has also been focused on social issues: «We believe in the future and in the need to help as much as we are able to. This responsibility we feel towards the environment and society tangibly crystallises in actions which lead to an improvement of our planet’s life. Treedom is an excellent partner in this sense, and the enthusiasm and passion of the young people who developed this project represents the same values which have always distinguished us”, explains Ali Reza Arabnia, President of the Geico Taikisha Group.