Exemple

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.

Arianna

 

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Exemple

We leave at the end of February in a moment of deep uncertainty due to Covid19 world pandemic. It is me (Arianna) and Luca. We are not frightened by the situation, nevertheless before leaving we collect all the information necessary to ensure we have a safe journey and we don’t find ourselves unprepared.

Malpensa airport is strangely desert. We embark on the plane and our trip will end late at night.

When we arrive in the camp the weather is cold but we always have a very warm welcome, full of hugs and smiles from our kids as well as from many adults that have become a genuine family to us. We soon get ready to start our activities. There so much to do and we only have two days before we get back.

We realise that it is a very difficult moment because of bombings. Besides, moving around is dangerous and complicated because of the curfew. Still we manage to distribute food packs to all the families of the camp, milk to malnourished children and vouchers to the orphans supported from the Italian donors. We also assign the funds for the Rainbow Tent, that we supervise, and we find it full of children so much willing to learn and show us their improvements.

In addition, we leave medicines and sustenance to the most fragile families and we buy a tent for a family that has just lost theirs in a fire, while trying to keep warm.

We cannot go to the urban area, where we support 25 families, since the curfew doesn’t allow us to move across different regions. Therefore we leave the money destined to those families to our local co-operator, who will take care of distributing the vouchers and sending us the pictures of the distribution.

The last day of the mission we realise that we are stuck in Turkey, because the Turkish Government decided to cancel all flights to Italy due to the pandemic. We contact the Italian Embassy, that kindly tell us to try and find a way to go back on our own, but actually there are no flights to Italy available.

Fortunately we find our way back home after a long trip and many stopovers.

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