A heavy earthquake had caused massive damage in the area of L‘Aquila in April, 2009. Two and a half years later, the inhabitants of Tossicia and their mayor, Franco Targuini, are happy about their new community centre. Photo: humedica/Patrick Khamadi
The inhabitants of Tossicia say „Thank you“
"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city..." (Jeremiah 29:7)
Two and a half years ago, the earth trembled in the Italian province of L’Aquila and the area turned into a vast debris field. More than 300 people had lost their lives and almost one third of the 300.000 inhabitants of L’Aquila had lost their homes. A sad outcome, the consequences of which can still be felt today.
Only few hours after the heavy shocks, the humedica donor and owner of the company Moving Terrain, Stefan Unzicker, transported a three-person medical team to L’Aquila with his business plane to deliver medical aid to the people affected by the quake. Also, distributions of relief supplies and food were carried out in the affected region, in cooperation with local partners.
In the following months, the focus was laid on the construction of a community centre in Tossicia, a village situated in the earthquake area, about 120 km north-east of Rome. After some bureaucratic obstacles had been overcome, the long-term aid project for the about 1500 inhabitants of the village could be realized and officially dedicated in October of this year, after nine months of construction time.
On this festive occasion, Franco Targuini, the mayor of Tossicia, who dedicated the new building on behalf of the whole community, expressed his great gratitude to all people involved in the building project. Thanks to a remarkable number of donations, humedica had been able to contribute
to the building costs with an amount of 75.000 euros. The other 50% were contributed by the Italian Evangelic Alliance as well as by the partner organisation COEVEMA.
“The community centre is earthquake-proof, like all buildings in the affected area that have been rebuilt or newly constructed after the earthquake in April 2009”, explains Patrick Khamadi, the humedica officer in charge, who had traveled to Tossicia to take part in the official dedication ceremony. “Apart from that, the planning was also done in consideration of the environment. The building complex meets all the criteria of an environmentally-friendly construction.”
The inhabitants are very grateful for the common help efforts of humedica and its partner organisations, reports Patrick Khamadi, back in the office. “Many of their houses have been massively damaged by the quake more than three years ago, but instead of getting financial support for their reconstruction, the inhabitants found it more important to create a central meeting place in their village.”
The state, by contrast, has done very little to help the population of this village. “The village was overshadowed by L’Aquila”, Patrick Khamadi explains. Since the epicentre was only about five kilometres south-west of the province’s principal town and not even nine metres underground, L’Aquila suffered the severest damage. For this obvious reason, the government’s aid measures were initially focused on L’Acquila.
And so, the inhabitants of Tossicia were very happy about the fact that there are people who live almost 1.000 kilometres away from them and, yet, are interested in their well-being. People who wanted to contribute, by means of a donation, to make social interaction possible in the village again and create a central meeting point for the inhabitants, after many private homes had suffered damages during the earthquake.
Apart from that, the construction of the community centre created the necessary requisites for opportunities of education for the young and of care for the elder people. Without help from the outside, such a project would not have been carried out in the near future, the economic situation being very tense in this area of the Abruzzi as in the rest of southern Italy.
In order to express the gratitude of the village’s inhabitants, Franco Targuini handed over a drawing of the new building to humedica officer Patrick Khamadi during the festive dedication ceremony. Tellingly, the drawing was titled with a quotation from the Bible, a verse from the book of Jeremiah: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV)
Knowing that the construction of the community centre has contributed to the well-being of the inhabitants, humedica would like to thank all donors for their support.