Parole Fertili (Fertile Words) has just turned seven. The secret of the longevity of this project, which began as a digital story sharing platform for stories about infertility, probably lies in the metaphor of the 'donation' that has been a feature from the start: sharing life stories with the community. But also in its ability to evolve over time.
It began as a publishing project by the Center for Digital Health Humanities with the unconditional support of IBSA Italy and has now become a broader project in partnership with the IBSA Foundation for scientific research that also aims to promote studies and partnerships with universities as part of the Foundation’s Cultura e Salute (Culture and Health) initiative.
Parole Fertili is a dynamic project that is continually evolving. The platform features personal stories, together with news and in-depth reports on infertility, MAP (medically assisted procreation) and fertility treatments every day.
A community has developed over the years around this content to discuss and support all its members in an open and authentic space.
Parole Fertili has a social media presence, with a Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram accounts published both in English and Italian. Over time Parole Fertili has added different languages and activities: from short films to a theatre production, a book of stories published by Mondadori Electa, and a treatment pathway with digitally integrated drama therapy.
A new website for stories
The last stage in this development is here: the completely new www.parolefertili.it website. This is not just a simple graphic restyling, but a complete platform overhaul in terms of both user experience and content.
Users can now browse 500 stories on the theme of the journey in search of a child - donated anonymously over the years - through a personal search filter, according to what the user is feeling at that moment: Acceptance, Sharing, Courage, Disappointment, Pain, Happiness, Indecision, Fear, Loneliness and Hope.
It is also easier to interact, as all stories can be shared via social media and WhatsApp. Finally, another new feature is that a story of your experience can be accompanied by an image (either your own or free of copyright). So Parole Fertili stories also become a visual account presented through an image.
“We strongly believe that the treatment approach should combine art and psychophysical wellbeing,” explains Silvia Misiti, Head of the IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research. “This is why, in 2020, we began the large-scale Cultura e Salute project, in line with WHO scientific and clinical evidence. As part of this project, we promote activities and partnership between the arts and health sectors to improve people's wellbeing in care settings and in everyday life. We have a long-term outlook and Parole Fertili is definitely an important part of this pathway”.
“The fact that Parole Fertili is part of the IBSA Foundation's projects does not only mean that the territorial boundaries of the initiative have expanded internationally, but is a natural point of arrival for us,” adds Patrizia Puppi, Senior Corporate Communication & CSR Manager for IBSA Pharmaceuticals. “Back in 2016 we began a truly socially responsible action with Parole Fertili, as we believed in unconditional support and in separating the project from our business and brand. We wanted to benefit people, rather than focus on branding. And this sense of responsibility has been an integral part of our support over the years. This is also why we got a genuine response from people. We want to continue to follow the project’s evolution without influencing it and to welcome new ideas and proposals already in the pipeline. ”