OUT OF KABUL: OTB Foundation is aiding in the rescue efforts of the Afghan women it has been supporting since 2019, as their native country grapples with the takeover of Taliban party.
The not-for-profit organization established by OTB founder Renzo Rosso in 2008 has managed to fly some of the women out of Afghanistan and into Italy as part of the Pink Shuttle program launched by Nove Onlus and supported by the foundation.
“We’re happy to welcome them and to launch a new project to avoid that their children and they succumb to impositions that would bring them back to unacceptable life conditions,” commented Arianna Alessi, vice president of OTB Foundation.
The charity arm of the OTB group had commenced its partnership with Nove Onlus in 2019 supporting the Pink Shuttle program aimed at offering Afghan women public transportation with shuttles driven exclusively by female drivers in the streets of Kabul. The project was also financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“Learning how to drive a shuttle and helping out other women in my country was an invaluable encouragement to change the female condition in Afghanistan,” said one Afghan driver enrolled in the Pink Shuttle program. “I hope all this won’t vanish,” she added.
Nove Onlus, which in the past developed another project in Kabul enabling 195 women to get a driving license for free, intended to turn the Pink Shuttle charity initiative into an actual commercial service, managed by Afghan women, before the Taliban party overthrew the fragile democratic government.
Since its establishment in 2008, OTB Foundation has supported about 250 international projects focused on social development with an impact on the life of 250,000 people.
Among the most recent initiatives, the organization launched the second round of its “Brave Actions for a Better World” charity, donating 200,000 euros to fund projects launched by Italian nonprofits aimed at fighting poverty, supporting employment and aiding access to health care and education.
During the most severe phases of lockdown and health emergency in Italy, the OTB Foundation decided to take an unconventional approach, as reported.
Instead of making a multimillion euro donation to a major institution, it has donated almost 1 million pieces of PPE, including surgical masks, filter masks, scrubs, shoe covers and hand-sanitizing gels to around 100 Italian hospitals, retirement homes and other Italy-based organizations. In addition, the foundation sourced and distributed 30 sophisticated air cleaners, conceived by NASA and usually employed in space missions, 50 helmets for breathing assistance, 80 full face masks and severals iPads, enabling patients to remain connected with their families.
While the OTB Foundation decided to mainly operate in suburban areas or smaller cities, it also supported the work to convert an area of Milanese Fatebenefratelli Sacco hospital’s pediatric department into a dedicated COVID-19 ward.
OTB is the parent company of brands including Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander and Viktor & Rolf.