The origin is an event, a burning point which, at a certain moment,
unleashed someone’s freedom

The origin of our Organisation has a precise identity: “With Catholic roots”, as the Foundations’ Statutes state.
“He who saves a single life, saves the entire world”, as the Talmud says, quoted in the film Schindler’s List.
The first life to save is my own, here and now. Our Organisation did not come into being to respond to the needs of others, but paradoxically to mine, so that we can then respond to the needs of all those we encounter.
This is the origin of the Organisation: the attempt to systematically respond to a need that compels one’s life in the present, here and now.

I have dragged you through the streets;
I have desolated you in the fields;
I have inebriated you in the city;
I have inebriated you without quenching your thirst;
I have bathed you in moonlit nights;
I have taken you everywhere;
I have cradled you on the waves;
I wanted to fall asleep on the ripples…
Desire! Desire! What must be done with you?
What is it you want?
When will you tire of this?

André Gide, The Fruits of the Earth

“…we must use every opportunity, every occasion as a chance to increase our own self-awareness
What good is our Foundation if it does not make human beings more human?

Daniele Nembrini, Fondazioni in corso d’opera (Foundations in Progress)

The statue of Icarus on all the premises of the Organisations inspired by Matisse’s Icarus, represents the spirit of our endeavour: it might often be wrong in its approach, but it is always driven by a burning heart tending towards the infinite.


“Talking about the ‘charisma’ of the Organisation is a little embarrassing for me, because it is a word that also pertains to other orders of magnitude; more specifically, I am referring to religious charisma. Just to clear up any misunderstandings: I don’t think I have religious charisma; but the Organisation I founded does have a charisma of its own, and the first person who has to come to terms with it is myself. As Matisse once said about the chapel in Vence: ‘This chapel was not something I wanted; it came from elsewhere.’ I perceive the very same thing in front of our Foundation: it does not come from me, but from elsewhere”.

The charisma of the Organisation is the experience I am having and propose to my closest collaborators and to everyone: a living humanity, the encounter with Christ and life as a duty. In a word, I would like everyone to encounter Christ; I am devoting my life to this.

Daniele Nembrini, Fondazioni in corso d’opera (Foundations in Progress)

In the work that we do, let us always keep Jesus’ warning in mind: “For ye have the poor with you always” (Mark 14:7) Therefore, we know that no matter how committed we are to responding to the needs we may encounter, we can never solve everyone’s problems.

Perhaps the most important contribution we can make, rather than responding to a need in the strictest sense, is to accompany those we encounter to an awareness of self.
In fact, oftentimes when you help a person realise who he or she is, the hardest part is over: how frequently it happens that once they rediscover their dignity, people find jobs by themselves…

The question for me is increasing the awareness of who I am; and consequently the explosion of desire.
Every day I continue to go to work with this desire: may I become more and more aware of who I am, and may my contribution lead everyone we meet to become aware of who they are.
Never would I have imagined, when I first went into Calcio, that this could become the only reason for doing what I do: as if my profession was to offer a possibility, to those around me and then to everyone, of self-awareness, through commitment to the work we are given.


The most concise and aware formulation of the nature, purpose and working directions of the Foundation can be found in Article 2 of its Statute.
We therefore feel it is important to quote it in its entirety.

OPERA (Charitable Organisation)

The San Michele Arcangelo Foundation is an Organisation meaning it is an entity that is structured and managed according to business logics but on a non-profit basis, with social utility purposes, to which any operational gains are redirected.


The Foundation, with its Catholic roots regarding the experience from which it originates, addresses the religious sense of humankind, meaning, that core of unshakeable aspects and needs – of truth, justice, happiness, love – which constitutes the “heart” of the human being.


The purpose of the Foundation is to promote the overall realisation of individuals, accompanying and supporting them, with the comprehensive acquisition of the criteria for personal action, the natural propensity towards self-fulfilment, the summit of which is freedom understood as the total satisfaction of one’s desires


The Foundation’s activities are characterised by:
– the introduction to truth through the experience of beauty, present in nature and in human cultural, technical and artistic expressions;


The participation of partners, collaborators, users, families, businesses, institutions, the community at large, in building the Organisation and achieving the common good;


Transparency of internal and external relations, management activities and information, to encourage sharing of the Foundation’s objectives;


A style that is based on moderation, an attitude that indicates the preeminence of others as a good for oneself and is expressed in an essentiality and discretion that are attention and service aimed at others;


Commitment to development according to a logic of sustainability, inspired by the criteria of an integral ecology, which unites the human, social, economic and environmental dimensions;


Opening up to the world understood as an intrinsic dimension linked to action and a commitment to promoting and supporting international experiences and collaborations.


Unless people freely assume their own personal responsibility, the common good remains a pious intention or risks becoming a violent ideology.

Daniele Nembrini, Fondazioni in corso d’opera (Foundations in Progress)

In carrying out their activities, each Organisation and each collaborator is required to engage in a process of dialogical identification with the spirit that animates the Foundation. This process is carried out in three phases:

Asking for the Criteria:
which presumes a willingness to identify with this spirit

Exercising the Power:
which presumes a willingness to take risks

Sharing a Judgement:
which presumes a willingness to know

“Observe everything, tolerate much and correct one thing at a time.”

Bernard of Clairvaux


“We, as Foundations, before dealing with needs, deal with desire. Using my desire, yours and that of those we encounter, and that is what makes us capable – in accordance with our capabilities – of taking their need seriously, without ‘reducing’ them to their need’.

Daniele Nembrini, Fondazioni in corso d’opera (Foundations in Progress)

Our commitment is to bring out the talents of individuals, nurturing the value of the Person and their desire through an invitation to gain experience. It is on the basis of these objectives that our motto ‘It’s Experience’ originated.

In order to emphasise the centrality of the Person, we have chosen to look at our students as Talents to be empowered, asking them to become the protagonists of their own paths and to participate intensively in training activities and correlated proposals.
In the same way, we call every collaborator an Educator to remind ourselves that each person, regardless of their specific job, is called to an educational duty, in which they are committed with all their humanity.
For us, educating means introducing to reality by giving a criterion for judging the experience, which brings into play everyone’s freedom and responsibility.

In this way, the inclinations of the Talents are revealed and grow due to the continuous interaction with their Educators.