Before Pinocchio, there was nothing in place to help improve the lives of children who had been hospitalised for burns. In 1997 a handful of nurses and carers specialised in burns, founded Pinocchio. They were Kathy Van Den Bergh, Bart Peeters, Marianne Vantomme, Fabienne Lucas, Maggy Goubert, Patrick Persoons, Luc De Clerck and Martin Margodt, who remains president to this day.
One of the first events the founders organized
The association’s first report was released on January 30th 1997 and its statutes were published in the Moniteur Belge on August 10th 1997. The goals were, and still are, to come to the practical and financial aid of burned children until the age of 25, both during the treatment phase and afterwards and to build public awareness of the dangers of burns to children.
The name Pinocchio was chosen because in Carlo Collodi’s story of 1811 (brought much later to the screen by Walt Disney) his hero, a wooden puppet, after many trials, becomes a real live boy. The name aims to show these children that there is always hope of leading a normal life, even after a long convalescence?
The association’s logo depicts a flame with a red clown’s nose, set inside a drop of blue water to represent the cooling of burns.
On 18th April, 2006, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid accepted honorary presidency of the association, a role she continues to play with great commitment to this day. On 10th September, 2007, Cathérine Moerkerke became our ambassadress for Belgium’s Dutch speakers. On 30th March, 2009 David Lallemand became ambassador for our French speakers and on 19th October 2009, Alexander Homann for our German speakers.
Since its creation Pinocchio has continued to grow. Today it is an internationally recognised organisation offering its services to both the public and private health sectors.