NIAF Gives $450,000 to Norcia Community as It Recovers from the Traumatic Earthquakes


Natalie Wulderk

-Foundation Disperses Funds to Construct a Community Center-

Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2018) – The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) announced today that its Earthquake Relief Fund will give $450,000 to the Norcia community, a town with 5,000 residents located in Umbria, in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Central Italy in 2016.

NIAF is partnering with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) to build a new multi-purpose community center.  The community center will serve Norcia’s primary school for after school activities as well as a local primary care center.  The Italian National Trauma Center (INTC), an Italian nonprofit, will be overseeing the construction of the building and will report progress on a quarterly basis to NIAF.

NIAF Board Co-Chairperson Gabriel A. Battista said, “We look forward to NIAF working closely with HPRT and INTC to construct the multi-purpose community center in Norcia.  The community has suffered unimaginable trauma from the two earthquakes in 2016 that still affects their daily lives.  INTC’s quarterly reports to NIAF will ensure a smooth and efficient timeline of the community center’s construction so it can begin to serve the community’s needs as soon as possible.”

At the request of the Norcia medical community, HPRT and INTC will provide on-going training, mentoring, and support to the local medical community.  These programs will educate the medical community on the best practices for care of those impacted by the disaster.

NIAF Board Vice Chair International John F. Calvelli said, “During a recent visit to Norcia, I was able to witness firsthand how this historic area was devastated more than two years ago.  Thanks to our Foundation’s leadership, and the support of so many concerned Italian Americans, there is now hope where there was ruin.  These funds represent an important step in the rebuilding of this community and we at NIAF are pleased to play a small role in this act of renewal.”

The first earthquake struck Central Italy on August 24, 2016, taking the lives of 297 Italian villagers and dislocating tens of thousands.  On October 30, a second earthquake devastated Norcia’s ancient village, including the medieval monastery of the Benedictine Order.

The construction of the community center in Norcia is the first project launched since the 2016 earthquakes.

To donate to NIAF’s Earthquake Relief Fund, visit:

To view the destruction of the earthquakes, view this video:

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit