The Covid19 pandemic caused the closure of all borders. As a result, four months have passed since we last visited the camp. During this time we have been able to keep up our projects (food packs, wood and coal supply, monthly vouchers for the orphans in the camp and the families in the urban area) thanks to a network of wonderful local partners. During the past years they have become devoted and fraternal friends.
Me and Luca finally get back to the camp in August. Moving across the country is more complicated than usual due to the safety measures, social distancing and masks, but we try to be respectful and responsible.
The situation in the camp is difficult too: misery and desperation are suffocating and often cause tears of helplessness.
The weather is so hot that the risk of feeling sick is tangible. There’s no water, food is scarce, kids are really thin and parents exhausted.
Families or alone children continue to flee from the bombings and come to populate this desperate place, that is very close to collapse. While counting the groups of orphans supported by our donors we notice that their number has severely increased. I start to panic thinking that we will have to find new donors willing to help these sons of nobody.
Under a merciless sun we distribute food packs, milk powder for malnourished children, and medicines (while talking on the phone with the doctor in Italy).
The Rainbow Tent is closed by police order due to the pandemic, but I’m happy to know that it’ll be able to open again in one month. Children keep on asking about the tent and I feel like I’m disappointing them.
We decide to rent a bus and take a good number of children to spend a day by the sea. It is a wonderful day where children that usually never laugh had the chance to play, splash and have fun. I have never felt so good and I’ve never seen more fragile, still bright, eyes. Luca, my husband, plays and swims next to us.
After the trip we go to visit some very vulnerable families that we have supported in the past years: Salema who is sick, two children who have thalassemia and few other very difficult situations, like young Youssef.
This time again we cannot go to the urban area because of Covid19 restrictions, so we have to leave the donations to our co-operator who will take care of distributing the vouchers to these families that leave in very rundown accommodations .
Going back home is always painful.