Active since 1932, OFTAL (Opera Federativa Trasporto Ammalati a Lourdes) is an ecclesiastical association of Marian charity for those who suffer, that historically organizes Pilgrimages, mainly to Lourdes but also to other Marian shrines. The organization, also through economic support, encourages participation in the pilgrimages of the poor and needy patients, especially children, and volunteers at the service of those who suffer (doctors, nurses, priests and religious figures, volunteer companions).
OFTAL operates within the territory of the Province of Alessandria through the organization of Fraternity Days between citizenship and the sick, elderly, needy, and friends that society tends to marginalize.
Over the years, the OFTAL transport service, initially aimed at Fraternity Days, has progressively extended to the entire province of Alessandria, also responding to the primary needs of disabled, elderly and persons with movement difficulties: specialist medical visits, medical examinations, physiotherapy, attendance at schools and after-school activities, participation in events, pilgrimages, family visits and home visits.
From 2011 to 2018 OFTAL, through the specially equipped means of transport already in operation, has carried out more than 500 trips a year covering more than 350,000 Km. The costs of managing the vehicles are supported through fundraising initiatives, requests for funding to institutions and institutions and offers of benefactor friends.
THE COLLABORATION WITH GIORGIO DEIANA FOUNDATION
Giorgio Deiana Foundation has decided to support OFTAL in a new project that aims to expand the base of potential beneficiaries of transport services, and also offer the opportunity to live new experiences for those who find themselves in conditions of hardship and difficulty, extending the free transport offer also for not strictly ordinary needs: hence the need to increase both the available vehicles and the number of volunteers that can be made available as drivers.
OFTAL also plans to structure and consolidate collaborations and synergies with voluntary associations and institutions / bodies of the Province of Alessandria (among others AISM, AIAS, the Ark Community, Divine Providence Institute, Rest Home Borsalino Residence, Residence for the Third Age Il Platano, the Orchid Rest Home, Rest Homes Mother Teresa Michel of Frascaro and Quargnento, Rest Home of Sezzadio, Rest Home Ospedalino di Valenza, Rest Home of Castellazzo Bormida, Tassarolo Golf Club, Diocese Cultural Heritage Office of Alessandria, Disability Managers of the Municipalities of Alessandria and Novi Ligure, CSVAA).
The Giorgio Deiana Foundation supports OFTAL in the purchase of a new vehicle equipped for disabled and people with mobility difficulties (Mercedes Sprinter Van), also financing the creation of training courses for volunteers, aimed at raising awareness about the needs and safety of the people who will use the service.