Timberland has launched the campaign “My Community Our Nature” involving four ambassadors from four different European countries with the ultimate goal of supporting local realities. If Joy Crookes, Aisha Vibes and Jeny Bsg were respectively involved for the UK, Germany and France, for Italy the choice fell on Antonio Dikele Distefano.
Each of the 4 changemakers proposed a project linked to the values of community and nature. The same values that Timberland has encapsulated in the new GreenStride silhouette that, thanks to new materials of vegetable origin, can be defined as one of the most eco-responsible experiences that Timberland has ever made, without obviously sacrificing comfort.
Antonio, together with Timberland, has chosen to support St. Ambroeus FC, at the “Fair Play Arena” Cameroni Sports Center. For years the team has been committed to involving youngsters of foreign origin who are asylum seekers and over time the playing field has become a place where to grow and learn together.
Despite the potential and the enthusiasm of the boys who are part of it, the sports center lives a situation of degradation and the improvements that could be done are countless.
Until November 20, on the Timberland website you can support one of the projects by voting for your favorite. Subsequently, the brand will commit to making the most voted become reality, also donating € 5 for every pair of Ray City and Originals Ultra sold.
We decided to get to know Antonio Dikele Distefano’s idea better and more in depth, leaving him the opportunity to shed light on the most important aspects of his project. Read on to find out what he told us and go to the Timberland website to vote for him!
Introduce yourself briefly to those who don’t know you.
My name is Antonio Dikele Distefano, I am 29 years old and in life I am a writer. I write all the time things that are not just books but ideas, formats and I am often agitated, I love Japanese cartoons and I live in Milan.
What is the St. Ambroeus FC in Milan?
The St. Ambroeus FC is a gathering place that started as a soccer team, but it is much more. It’s not just a third rate soccer team, but a place where people have a place to be and where they can be themselves. I met it a couple of years ago and the thing that struck me the most is that it is in deeds what many people say in words: it manages to give people a place where they can feel integrated and never excluded.
How did you get to know this reality?
I met them because I had to organize a documentary about them and a guy who is a director had told me about them. I immediately went to their head and I was immediately impressed because as a reality is really cool and formed by very young guys.
What does the Cameroni Sports Center represent for you?
I believe that the sports center is a place that should not be abandoned because the mistake we make is to leave alone those places that send a signal to the city. For me, it represents a place that must continue to have a beacon above to make many other people realize that some things are really possible to achieve.
What does it represent to the kids who attend it?
It’s a place where you can lighten up, take off all the masks, all the resistance. The thing that makes me laugh a lot when I’m there is that those guys make fun of each other, speaking an absurd Italian, without anyone mocking the other for the way he speaks. And this makes me laugh because when I was a child and there were some friends who had just arrived to live in Italy, it happened that they were afraid to express themselves and to speak. This doesn’t happen there.
What are the values on which it is based?
Friendship, simplicity and commitment.
How important are places like the Cameroni Sports Center and realities like St. Ambroeus FC in a context like Milan?
They have a lot of importance because they are spaces where things happen and take place. Today we think the world is changing, we think we’re part of a change, but when we don’t actually do anything, at most we post a photo on Instagram, but making things happen is something else entirely. In my opinion these are places where things happen on a daily basis, but starting from the simplest things and for me this has great importance in Milan because it shows that things are possible. Often you don’t believe in things because you think they are impossible, but it is not so.
What does it mean for you to be one of the four changemakers chosen by Timberland?
I would say that the aspect that interests me most is the fact that today Timberland wants to invest in realities like these. So more than it being about me, it’s about the community. What Timberland is doing today is a beautiful signal that can be extended to other brands and then to everyone. Then the thing that makes the difference, in my opinion, is not so much how much one invests, but in what one invests and for me this is a great signal.
How will you and Timberland help the sports center?
In two ways. One has already been done because it has made available a portion of the proceeds it will receive from the sale of a shoe that was launched recently and that will be used to support the Sports Center. Also, this summer some of the kids and volunteers set up a small field.
Then, if we win the contest we will be in a position to put our hands on, for example, the lights of the field that today consume a lot of energy and invest in solar panels.
Why should people support your project and vote for it on Timberland’s website?
The real question is “why shouldn’t they?”, also because one thing we often forget is that when there is a chance for the other there is also a chance for us. Voting would mean having an extra space where we can do things and be together.