On Wednesday morning, Umbra Institute students from Chapman University found a shady place between the olive oil and honey vendors in the weekly market in Piazza Matteoti, “adopting” their handmade dolls to benefit UNICEF, an international children’s rights and relief organization.
The Umbra students have spent the last few weeks alongside Italian students from the University of Perugia and local UNICEF volunteers, designing and sewing the dolls, which are the symbol of the Italian chapter of UNICEF. Called le pigotte, the dolls are “adopted” – sold – typically for about 20 euro. This funds a vaccine kit that will protect a child and his or her mother against diseases in developing countries.
The students found the opportunity to give back during their short summer study abroad experience in Perugia, Italy, through the Umbra Institute’s Community Engagement program. With the help of Umbra’s partnerships with local businesses, nonprofits, and schools, the initiative offers students the opportunity to learn through immersion into the Perugian culture.