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Friday, December 16, 2016

Vatican concert to benefit children

At 11:30am this morning, at the Vatican Press Centre, there was a press conference held to present details about a benefit concert called Avrai (You will have) which will take place tomorrow in the Paul VI Hall.

The concert is being held as part of the Bicentennial celebrations of the Vatican Guard and will be conducted by Claudio Baglioni.  Proceeds from this concert will aid two important groups: a paediatric hospital in Bangui (Central African Republic) and victims of the earthquakes in central Italy.


Avrai is a benefit concert which will be held by Claudio Baglioni tomorrow, Saturday, 17 December 2016 in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

This project - part of the celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Vatican Police Force who are promoting it along with the O'scia' Onlus Foundation - will be an important source of fundraising.

Many people have collaborated in the organization of this concert along with Mister Baglioni who, on Wednesday 14 December of this year, outlined the plan for the concert during a private audience held with Pope Francis.  He also explained the reasons for the gathering and the organizations who will benefit from the proceeds raised.  The first 500 thousand euros raised will be sent to the children of Bangui and Central Italy to help those who are in need.

Tomorrow evening, the concert will be broadcast by RAI Italia television and other Catholic television stations in collaboration with CTV (Vatican Central Television), as well as live by radio via various radio stations which are partnered with Radio Vaticana, RTL 102.5 and Radio Zeta l'Italiana.

The date of December 17, 2016 marks Pope Francis' eightieth birthday.

It will be a concert including various musical genres and songs - a mixture of Christmas songs translated and adapted in Italian.

Claudio Baglioni will perform with a 70-piece symphony orchestra, along with his group of ten musicians and vocalists, and the Giuseppe Verdi choir of Rome which includes more than sixty voices.

A musical tale will be recounted by Isabella Ferrari, Donatella Finocchiaro, Beppe Fiorello, Vinicio Marchioni, Laura Morante, Giorgio Pasotti, Alessandro Preziosi, Gigi Proietti and Nicoletta Romanoff, who will give voice to the words with which Pope Francis invites all people to reflect on the journey of humanity, and the witness of Father Riccardo Agresti, Lucia Annibali, Pietro Bartòlo and Erri De Luca.

There are two groups who will benefit from the proceeds raised:

The first, which began last Spring under the direction of Pope Francis, consists of a programme aimed at helping hospitals in Bangui - Central African Republic - which has been suffering for years from the effects of civil war.  Pope Francis visited the Central African Republic in November 2015.  Funds will be used to help with the construction of a Paediatric pavilion (malnutrition department), the training of doctors, as well as the school of Paediatric specialization.  The entire concert will be followed by patients at the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital.

Funds raised at this concert will also be used to help with the construction of a children's building in the area affected by recent earthquakes in Central Italy.

In addition, from December 1 to 21, a special solidarity number (45523) has been enacted in order to collect funds for the above-named objectives.  Contributions collected will be added to those raised tomorrow night.  The value of the donation will be 2 euros per SMS or 5 or 10 euros for every call from a landline to the number 45523.  The Saint John XXIII Foundation is responsible for the collection of funds through the use of this phone number.

The entire evening, produced by the F&p Group, is supported by Siae and by the Italian postal system and will be broadcast live on television by RAI 1 beginning at 8:40pm.
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