Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo - A cuore aperto


Every month we organize and leave for medical and surgical missions aimed at helping the developing countries that need our support. We ask for some days of holidays to the hospitals in which we work. We decide to spend less time with our families and sons to look after, completely and wholeheartedly, other children suffering from heart diseases.

We operate in many countries at war or at high-risk of war because our ethical and social awareness is stronger than fear. We visit, operate, intubate, extubate, look after, support, comfort many patients and then we discharge them from the hospitals. Finally, we come back home again to devote ourselves to our families and daily jobs; but we always keep alive in our hearts the thought of many children suffering from heart diseases who are waiting for help in the hospitals of other countries, so we decide to leave for our medical and surgical missions again.

We are the team of voluntary doctors and nurses of the Association Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo, the humanitarian organization that has been carrying out its vital project in the poorest countries for more than twenty years, aimed at giving a life expectancy to the children suffering from heart diseases all over the world. The Association also builds hospitals specialized in cardiac surgery in the countries that lack them and where cardiopathies are, among the several congenital diseases, the first cause of death for children. Moreover, Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo gives the opportunity of a professional training in Italy for the local doctors so they can come back to their countries and do their job independently.

Heart-to-heart” is a photo exhibition aimed at showing some moments and experiences, photographed by Giovanni Porzio, that reveal our job, passion and weaknesses. Our hope is that the spectators can have the possibility to know our world and to live the same emotions and fears, even though only for a short moment.

Text from Sara Biffi


Giovanni Porzio

G Porzio 2

Giovanni Porzio (born in Milan in 1951) is a journalist, writer and press photographer and has been a special correspondent of the weekly magazine Panorama for nearly thirty years. After his graduation in Political, Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Milan, he started writing for the main Italian newspapers and magazines about International Politics while he was in Algiers to study the Arabic language and civilization. He was employed by the magazine Panorama in 1979 and he was present, as a press photographer, at the main wars in the Middle East, Africa, Balkans, Caucasus, Asia and South America. He was one of the first journalists to enter Kuwait City during the Gulf War in 1991: few days later he was captured with other colleagues by the troops of Saddam Hussein in Basra during the Shiite insurrection. During the following years he went to Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Algeria, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cambodia, Colombia, Haiti and Chechnya. He was in Kinshasa during the overthrow of the dictatorship of Mobutu in 1997. He got in Kabul, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with the Tajik mujahideen during the escape of the Taliban leaders in 2001. He was in Baghdad during the bombardments, the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government and the American invasion in 2003. He also went to southern Lebanon during the Israeli attack in 2006.

He was present, as a press photographer, at the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Libya and Syria from 2011 to 2014. Since 2013 he has been writing for Il Venerdì, the weekly magazine of the daily newspaper La Repubblica that has published his reportages carried out in Burma, Central African Republic, Cambodia, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq, Bosnia, Cameroon, Mexico and in the United States of America.

He has won several journalism awards such as the famous Max David for his reportages in Afghanistan. He has written the following eight books: “Guida al Medio Oriente”, “Cory”, “Top secret: l’inganno del Golfo”, “Inferno Somalia”, “Cuore nero”, “La guerra del Golfo”, “Cronache dalle terre di nessuno”, “Un dollaro al giorno”.

He is father of three sons.

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The association Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo is a laic, non-profit, independent organisation that, thanks to the voluntary collaboration of more than 150 surgeons, doctors, nurses and technicians from the most prominent italian and foreign cardiosurgical centres, operates in countries in difficulty, in order to give the hope of life to children with heart disease.

The Association was born in 1993 in Milan through the efforts of Professor Alessandro Frigiola and of Professor Silvia Cirri.

Every month the Association organises hope missions in different countries training doctors and building cardio-surgical paediatric centres in the most deprived areas, in order to develop the local health system and combat the infant mortality rate.

Since 1993 still now Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo carried out 350 surgical missions worldwide, saving 3.000 children affected by heart desease who, thanks to the cardiac surgery made from the volunteer doctors of the Association, had a new chance of life.

The Association is Charitable Organisation (DM 28/01/00) and ONLUS from 2003.