Mattia is a sixteen-year-old boy who lives in a small Sicilian town called Sommatino. He attends the Mario Rapisardi Technical Commercial Institute in Caltanissetta. Despite his young age he stands out for his maturity and sense of responsibility. Every day he takes care of his disabled brother with strength of mind and he manages not to make him feel his condition. HIs brother’s name is Damiano, he is ten-years-old and very close to Mattia. In every move he has to carry with him the bulky medical equipment: ventilator, oxygen and oximeter, without which his health would deteriorate quickly.
Sebastiano Mattia wants to help his little brother, he wants to make his movements less hard. He is committed to the design of an intelligent cart, a supplement to Damiano’s vehicle on which to place everything he needs. And it succeeds. His invention works: it eases everyone’s efforts, including mom and dad, and family walks will certainly become more frequent and serene, – as soon as the emergency will ease.
Mattia‘s ingenuity does not go unnoticed. The invention is reported by the Italian Society of Pediatrics Alberto Villani to the Presidency of the Republic. An ambitious report we might think. And instead the response arrives soon. The Quirinale found Mattia’s work worthy and congratulated him. But that’s not enough: the president has decided that he will nominate him as “Alfiere“, personally.
In these days Sergio Mattarella announced the awarding of twenty-five certificates of honor of Alfiere della Repubblica. Alfieri – specifies the Quirinale – are those young people who, for their behavior or attitudes, represent a good citizen model distinguished in their study, in cultural, scientific, artistic, sporting activities, in volunteering or who have performed acts or adopted behaviors inspired by a civic sense, altruism and solidarity. And Mattia is among them.
He is naturally proud of the upgrade he has made to his little brother’s assistive device, but he is also sincere in heart and wishes to point out, to the President and to all of us, that the project was carried out thanks to the help of an orthopedic company specialist who offered to give concrete form to his design.
Dad Giovanni and Mum Crocetta are proud (how could it be otherwise?) But more than ingenuity they praise the sensitivity of their son – responsible already as a child, empathetic with others, they say. The Sommatino community is also proud. This is testified by the public words spent by the mayor Elisa carbone:
Thanks Mattia for what you do, your love and your commitment may be an example for all of us, so that we can serve our community and improve the lives of others.
Thank you Mattia, little Alfiere of kindness. An Italian who we should aspire to emulate.