The hard transit to a better life

by Simone Hofmann/LKO, 2015/02/06

Tag für Tag erreichen Flüchtlinge in überfüllten Booten die italienische Grenze. Hinter ihnen liegt eine lange Odyssee quer über das Mittelmeer. Für die, die es lebend auf europäischen Boden schaffen, ist das Martyrium noch nicht vorbei. In überfüllten Flüchtlingslagern warten sie in der Hoffnung auf ein besseres Leben auf Asyl.

In order to meet these people with open arms and to facilitate their arrival in their new home, humedica supports the integration work of the Sicilian association Missione Tre V onlus.

Simone Hofmann knows what this work is like in practice, as she has visited the project in the context of her voluntary help commitment. Her impressions confirm the public perception of the refugee’s drama:

“The boat journey across the Mediterranean between Lybia and Sicily lasts at least three days. That may be a rubber dinghy with 30 to 40 persons or a small or medium-size fishing boat. This one carries about a hundred people, many of them below deck. After the hatches have been closed, the journey becomes a struggle for life. Hardly any air to breath, no space, no toilets, nothing to eat.

Many of the people smugglers abandon the boat soon after casting off the exit country and thus leave the boat without any control to its own fate. Wind, weather, waves … Those who fall asleep on deck and fall off the boat have been unlucky. In the harbor on Sicily, there are heaps of boats, the vests lie just aside.

My team has visited a refugee camp, in which singles as well as families have found accommodation. There we meet Elisabeth and her two twin daughters Mary and Mercy. Elisabeth tells us, how she has earned the money for the transit, working as a cleaning woman in Libya. First they didn’t want to let her on the boat because of her pregnancy with the twins. But she persevered and was finally accepted.

The transit on the boat was difficult. There were high waves on the Mediterranean and the weather was agitated. Someone has contacted Italian rescue forces. A helicopter has saved Elisabeth from the boat and flown her to a hospital.

Her twin girls came into the world much too early by cesarean, that’s why they must stay in the incubator for some weeks. But they were lucky. The babies have recovered well and are healthy. During our visit they are sleeping.

Tina Iuzzolini, who has founded the association Missione Tre V onlus together with her husband, visits Elisabeth once a week, in order to talk to her and the other refugees and to get to know the new arrivals. That’s a work which demands much strength and the results of which may only be seen a long time later. We are now her on behalf of humedica, in order to support the family Iuzzolini.

In the following days, we visit another refugee camp for men only, which has developed in a former guesthouse with gardens, as well as a mixed institution in a former convent. We are sitting down with the people, listen to them and try to give them some courage and hope, even if many don’t speak English.

At times we also ask about the refugees’ plans and wishes. Then, there is silence … perhaps getting further to Germany or Sweden, find work, get the rest of the family here from their home country. But some of them haven’t got any plan or idea, how their lives shall continue.

The “Open House” of the association Missione Tre V onlus is a place where these people find help. In this newly opened day center refugees who have already been released from the reception camps find advice and support. But even if the day center has already successfully started, they still lack care and equipment.

In order to be able to offer the newcomers a kind of private environment, our team has designed and decorated the rooms in the “Open House”. We have been polishing, painting, washing and installing a new kitchenette.

Moreover, we separated the big office room into two areas, to create a small warehouse in which the shoe and clothes deliveries of humedica can be stocked. The aid supplies are urgently needed, because most of the refugees just own what they are wearing on their bodies.

For the time being there is no end to the refugee drama in the Mediterranean in sight. That’s why Missione Tre V onlus and humedica continue their commitment for the welfare of these people.”

Dear friends and sponsors, the support of the needy refugees in Italy is only possible thanks to your contribution. Please continue being part of this help by giving a directed donation. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      keyword: “refugee help Italy”
      IBAN DE35 7345 0000 0000 0047 47
      BIC BYLADEM1KFB
      bank Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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