The sports club “Ercolini di Don Orione” was founded in 2004 as a project of educational and socio-cultural integration through sport of children of Roma origin and children living in foster homes.
The initial aim was to give life to an initiative that could involve the children raised in situations of distress and marginalized by today’s society in a project that would give them the opportunity to feel integrated among their peers, through one of the “weapons” preferred by the children: the game.
Initially the project addressed only the children of the Roma camp in Via del Baiardo (Tor di Quinto). Currently it also involves the children of the Roma “River” camp in Via Tenuta Piccirilli (Prima Porta) and Via di Salone (Tiburtina) and kids of the Protettorato San Giuseppe in Via Nomentana, Rome.
In 2004 the first football club was created, fully equipped and registered in the US ACLI tournament. It includes children between 7 and 10 years of age, the so-called “pulcini” (chickens). It was then joined by the “esordienti” (newcomesr), teenagers between 14 and 16 years.
In 2006 the team got through to the final of the tournament, having arrived first in the standings.
Meanwhile the organisation, still a mere association of volunteers, not formally registered, expands its field of interest and addresses the social field all-round.
In December 2008 the association received in Vatican directly from the hands of Pope Benedict XVI the “Cardinal Van Thuan Prize. Solidarity and Development 2008″ at its first edition, for the presentation of its ” Ercolini’s Village”, designed as a functional, eco-friendly reality equipped with all the necessary facilities to live in dignity, well integrated with the surrounding environment.