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First Kiwanis Aktion Club in Italy opens

The sound of cheers filled the room when Antonio Rotellla announced that Kiwanis International approved the charter for the first Aktion Club in Italy. Soon, he presented the 16 charter members their membership certificates and pinned them with the Aktion Club member pin. The 700 people in the audience clapped each time a name was read.

“We wanted to let people know that Kiwanis welcomes everyone and that people with disabilities are a resource for the community,” Rotella said. “I believe that Kiwanis has no barriers or prejudices. It is a welcoming club.”

The Kiwanis Club of Reggio Calabria has a long history of assisting those with disabilities in the community. When the club decided it was the right time to sponsor an Aktion Club, Club President Beniamino Condoluci turned to Sara Bottari and Agiduemila—an organization that helps those with physical and mental disabilities. The organization was happy to get involved. 

“Everyone has the right and duty to be useful to the community, people with disabilities need to find their way to be useful like everyone,” said Bottari. “Through Kiwanis Aktion Club, they can make themselves useful to other people."

The Kiwanis Aktion Club of Reggio Calabria is filling a need in the community. “The members have enthusiastically embraced this commitment which they perceive as an opportunity,” said Bottari. “They want to ‘give a smile to people and to children less fortunate.’ We are happy to be Kiwanians who can help other people.”

Rotella doesn’t expect this Aktion Club to be the only one in Italy for very long. As the club’s Kiwanis advisor, he’s been getting messages from other clubs in the Italy-San Marino District who are interested in sponsoring their own Aktion Club. “I am sure that other Aktion Clubs will be opened soon,” he said. “We are happy to inaugurate the first Kiwanis Aktion Club in the Italy-San Marino District.”
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