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In the last months of 2019 we were able to go to Turkey regularly every month.

In October the group was very cohesive: two doctors, one photographer and Elisabetta from Comitato Mahmud, responsible for the small school tent, the Rainbow Tent, where they organise recreational activities and the work of two local teachers.

The weather was mild, and our experienced routine allowed the doctors to visit all the children of the camp, the malnourished children and the adults in need. In particular, they could happily see that malnourished children are growing normally thanks to the treatments and the milk powder provided each month.

We distributed vouchers to the orphans, as well as food packs, and organised the activities of the Rainbow Tent for the coming months.

In November and December it was again Arianna and Luca. They took care of the most vulnerable in the camp, distributing the vouchers to the orphans and the malnourished children. They also continued to assist those in need, following the instructions from the doctors in Italy. They distributed covers and wood to all the residents of the camp in order to face the cold in the incoming winter.

Finally, they made it to Kilis where they gave vouchers and coal to the families who need to face the two coldest months of the year with no heat in their homes.

 

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Situation

Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees who fled from their country at the beginning of the war. According to UNCHR, 3.654.173 million refugees have registered at the Turkish government, while a vast amount of people live in the unstructured camps spread across the country. The region of Adana hosts one of those camps in the area of Tuzla, where SSCH is present since 2013. In that area live around 500 families, with 1000 children suffering malnutrition and infections due to the dirty water they have to drink. Hygienic conditions are terrible, so viruses bacteria and other kind of diseases easily spread across the camp.

People living in the area work in the fields from 7 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, for something like 2 euros per day. This wage is not even enough to buy a little bit of the food they contribute to grow every day. Furthermore the camp is far away from the nearest town (more than an hour by car) so they don’t have access to any service or basic form of assistance. Child labour is ordinary, since it is the only way for children to get food, but it implies that children are cut out of the educational system.

Since 2013 SSCH provide food packs, milk powder when necessary, blankets, winter clothes and medical aid. The situation is worsening as to malnutrition and education, still we wanted to give something from our hearts, a little oasis of colour, a place to cure the soul ….

Objectives and duration

The objective of the association is to build a School Tent in order to provide educational services that children cannot find in the camp. The majority of children is unschooled and illiterate, therefore the classes cover all basic education, in order to teach them how to read, write and count.

Aside the school project, SSCH aims to keep fighting against malnutrition. We registered 4 serious cases risking death: three new born children and a three years old girl. One of the new born babies is paralysed and is fed artificially.

Besides SSCH want to take care of 100 registered orphans. They are the most vulnerable. The area where the camp is situated is not safe: when children go to work in the camps, they face violence and sometimes kidnapping. The orphans are more vulnerable than the other children since they are not protected by any adult. SSCH wants to give them food so that they are not obliged to work in the fields and put themselves in danger. The project is intended to run for the next two years. Periodic reports will be written each month.

There are 110 orphans divided into 26 groups. The priority is to keep siblings together. In September 2019 we started a project of “distance aid”, connecting children with Italian donors who give them the basic food they need. The donors give 40-50 euros per month for each group of orphans. This aid is important, but it is not enough. We calculated that each group should spend approximately 110 euros in food, since most of the children suffer from malnutrition or pathological problems.

Monitoring

Our volunteers travel to Turkey each month. The monitoring activities are made of written reports and pictures in cooperation with the local persons at the camp and the teacher of the school tent.

 

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I write about this mission only three months after. I don’t know if this is good or not.

Emotions settle down and change, but never leave you.

It’s six years now that I (Arianna) go back and forth to the camps and sometimes I don’t know which direction to take in my life. Still I keep on going there. If I can change the destiny of just one of the children I meet, then it’s worth it. My dream is to give hope to these kids whose future have been taken away.

 

This is a very busy mission. We distribute food packs and visit malnourished children. Lorenzo, the doctor, spends the entire day visiting, checking the progresses of the malnourished kids and distributing milk and medicines to those in need. Pietro is also with us at the camp. He is a volunteer who launched a fundraising for us and then decided to come and help. Together with the doctor, they start creating a database of medical records that will be very helpful in the future missions. Thanks to this archive it will be a lot easier, for the three alternating doctors, to follow each patient. It’s an immense job, given the extreme working conditions of the camp.

In the meanwhile, Luca and Andrea build the school tent and the teacher (the interpreter who always supports us) starts counting the future scholars.

It’s going to be a small and modest school: there are many children and they have different ages and characteristics, but basically we’ll try to teach them how to read, write and count. Most of all, we want to create a peaceful and colorful oasis for children who have seen nothing but hard work in the fields.

The school opening is one of the best moments I have ever lived: pure joy and euphoria, but also order and self-control.  I hope we will always have the resources to keep this school running.

While some children have their first informal lesson, we pass on to distribute the checks to the orphans. Andrea takes pictures of each child or group and we’ll send them to the Italian donors. Sharing the children’s stories with the people supporting from Italy is very touching.

We finish our work late in the evening when it’s already dark. Some of the children are already asleep, others are still awake because they are happy to stay with us.

We identify a small shop where we make a deal: we give them money for each Voucher and children can go there and buy what they need. It works, but it’s an agreement based on trust.

Staying in the camp is both fulfilling and emptying. At the end of the day you are tired but you still don’t want to leave.

The next day we are back in the car directed to Kilis, where we stay as usual at Majad (The Sons of War). When we give the checks to the refugee families, the atmosphere is full of love and sorrow for the destiny of those people, especially children.  We would like to do a lot more, but at least we give them money to eat, so children are not forced to work and can go back to school.

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The mission in August is very particular and “full”. We have more time to think and go deep. This time Lidia is our only volunteer and she goes to the camp together with a friend of her. For an entire week they stay close to the border hosted by Majad (The Sons of War), who help us with our project. They are running activities for the university, but they spend most of their time with the families. So while delivering the checks, they stay with the refugees and listen to their stories.

They have come back very tired but full of rediscovered humanity. The families have felt really close to them and Italian donors have got to know a lot more about the life of the people they support.

At the end of the mission Lidia goes to the camp for one day to check Tamer (the baby who suffers from cerebral palsy and is fed with a tube in his stomach)  and bring milk to the other malnourished babies identified in the previous mission.

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This mission is particularly important for us: we will not only provide medical aid and food packs, but we will also try to census all the children.

In the camp there are more than a thousand children. More than a hundred are orphans of one or both parents. We want to census the orphans first, in order to start a project of distance support as soon as possible. We will identify an Italian donor for every orphan or a group of orphan siblings.

 

When we land the heat is terrible, even at night. Our thoughts immediately go to the children working 10 hours a day in the fields and living in the camp in these harsh conditions.

We start the mission checking that the 500 food packs are ready and we find out that they’ll  be ready the next morning.

This time Anna, a doctor, is travelling with us. We received most of the medicines and milk powder by Italian donors and we buy some more in the morning. After that, we follow the vans carrying the food packs to the camp.

The doctor spends the whole day visiting children under extreme temperatures.

We come across malnourished newborns and we give them milk. We soon realize that we need to buy more milk, since we don’t have enough. We meet a baby in serious conditions: due to an infection, he suffers from cerebral palsy and is fed with a tube in his stomach. We give the child some multivitamin and protein milk, but next time we will provide this child with the specific food he needs. The doctor, Anna, finds out the baby has another infection. She gives him an antibiotic and teaches the mother how to continue the cure.

 

Food distribution is always a moment that brings confusion, but the two chiefs of the camp are making a very good job and it’s a lot easier now that they have the list of the families.

We pass on to the children census . We count them and take pictures so that they can be associated to a donor. This is a very tough job (there are many children and a lot of confusion) but we manage to get through it.

The interpreter is mostly needed to assist the doctor, but he tries to give a hand to all of us.

In the evening we are exhausted but happy because we counted all the orphans and we can start the adoptions once we are back home.

 

The morning after we move to Kilis, close the border and 4 hours by car from the camp. In Kilis we meet the families we started to support from Italy. Majad from the association “The Sons of War” is our contact person and he always gives us a place to sleep when we are there.  His team support us when we’re in Kilis and when we’re in Italy. We personally deliver the checks to the families, but if sometimes (very seldom) we can’t, they do it for us.

Majad also runs a small laboratory where Syrian women make soap and small objects in order to earn some money and escape poverty. We always buy some products  and bring them back to Italy as gadgets. The three of us (Arianna, Andrea e Anna) have worked closely together, without any complaint or misunderstanding. Days are long and busy, and what you see often compromise your balance, but things are a lot easier when you are a team and share the same values and beliefs.

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Here we publish the report of the last trip we made from July 6th to 14th  in the Bosnian cities of Velika Kladusa e Bihac. The facts are told by Lorena Fornasir e Gian Andrea Franchi. We joined them for an explorative mission, where we contributed to buy and distribute shoes, clothes and other items essential for refugees.

It’s July and we soon get swallowed in the endless queues of people crossing the Slovenian/Croatian border to go on holiday. The service areas and the restaurants of the petrol stations are packed with the well-to-do European citizens. The long wait is due to the number of travellers more than to the checks at the border. The word “vacation” comes from “vacuum”, that means empty, as the coming and going of all these people and cars on the asphalt. In the multitude of people and vehicles, the smell of the gasoline reminds us that it’s because of petroleum that Middle East is a place of violence and death – from Emirates and Saudi Arabia (with its ferocious government) to devastated countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya. This reality affects the automobiles queues, as well as the groups of migrants and refugees wandering through the wood or being caught in the clutches of the “passeur”.

We are at the meta-border drawn by the Schengen Treaty. We have the impression that it is made of two different borders and this is always surprising, even though we are well aware of the situation. Unlike refugees, we are protected by our status of European citizens, and the border is a very different experience for us. For refugees, instead, borders mean prohibition, walls and barbed wire (the wire made with the intention to tear bodies apart, already used in Palestine years ago). In the woods of the mountains, small groups of people constantly try to cross the border, risking their lives, at night or at the break of dawn. Sometimes they try to cross the rivers and sometimes they drown.

Migrants show us the truth of this vacuum, that reflects our own emptiness. You can see it in their eyes. We first find it in the eyes of a woman from Iraq. I will call her the pharmacist of Baghdad. She lives at Borici (Bihac) with her four daughters. She flew from Bagdad three years ago after her husband and her thirteen years old boy were killed by ISIS. Soon after the killing,  Daesh militants ordered her to leave the country with her daughters. She was given 72 hours to leave. They don’t have friends or relatives in Europe and they don’t know where to go, still they have been forced to flee in a hostile and indifferent world. After a long and terrible journey , the five women tried the Balkan route, but they were caught at the border between Montenegro and Bosnia, beaten and held by the police for 36 hours together with other persons, and then sent back in Montenegro. After five attempts they managed to reach Bihac. On July 9th they tried again ”the game” to reach Croatia, but they were caught before crossing the border. We sadly think that at least this time they escaped Croatian Police.

So while European people cross the borders to go on holidays, migrants are constantly putting their life at risk and remind us the truth. They are the unaware carriers of a message in a world that feeds on death. Our world. They do it unknowingly, to each one of us, just exercising a right that European States don’t want to recognise: the right to have a life worth living.

 

VELIKA KLADUŠA

We go to Kladuša together with doctor Andolina, who carries the medical items needed. Unlike the past summer and the last trip (may 2019), we don’t see many refugees around the town and in the city centre. This fact creates a sense of estrangement and sadness because the town has lost the liveliness that it once had. There are 300-400 migrants left in town (in Miral di Poljie camp they should be approximately 700). They hide in the woods or in abandoned houses (squats), or stay in the side streets in small groups. We meet a group of around 15 from north Africa in front of Latan restaurant, now closed due to lack of funds. We spend some time with two of them in particular. They speak Italian because they used to work in Italy, since 14 and 17 years respectively. At some point they lost their jobs and went back to their countries for a while, but then they found out they couldn’t return to Italy, the country where they left their hopes and expectations.

The refugees staying in the woods outside town are hiding from the police because they don’t want to be taken to the rubbish dump of Vucjiak, a camp that is ten kilometres from Bihac and  lately has a very bad reputation.

In the evening we meet a young activist from Border Violence Monitoring, a team who documents violence against migrants, mainly in Montenegro and Greece. She shows us a map of the places where push backs take place. The map is drawn thanks to the witnesses collected amongst the migrants rejected in the area of Kladusa, who confirm the tortures and violence from Croatian police.

Every day around 50 migrants are rejected in Kladusa. Their bodies marked by violence. When caught by the Croatian police, they are held in a container, without food, water or toilet for 36 hours. Then they are released through the so called “tunnel”: after being blinded with pepper spray, they have to pass through a corridor where policemen stand aside and beat them. After that, their money is stolen, their mobiles broken, their shoes, backpacks and personal belongings burned in fire.

 

REJECTION PLACES

We get information on NNK, an ngo registered in Bosnia and soon in the canton Una Sana. For some time they supported Latan, the manager of a restaurant that used to distribute around 400 meals to migrants each day. The Dutch organisation used to provide 80% of the expenses, but they decided to give up the project. Probably the scarce organisational skills and the inadequate reporting of funds contributed to the closing. Whatever the reason, the consequence is that tens of migrants, mainly from Algeria, live in the bush and starve. They have no other place to go because, after some riots exploded between different ethnic groups last month (May 2019), the authorities decided to exclude people from Maghreb from Miral camp. Since then, they suffered severe marginalisation. Rejected from every sort of community, they barely survive in the ‘jungle’, literally starving.

NNK continues to provide clothes, while Adis Pixi (the well-known activist from SOS team Kladusa, who operates on his own) provides basic nursing care.

On the second day, we meet Zehida Bihorac Odobasic, a teacher we support in her solitary commitment in Kladuša. She takes care of 4/5 groups, each one made of 5/6 people in Kladuša, and 5 more groups in Miral di Polje. The composition of these groups is constantly changing: some days there are two persons and other there are six. The try ‘the game’ and often they get back after ten days. Police in Kladuša are getting bad, but fortunaltely not as much as in Bihac. Zehida says that in Miral camp (managed by IOM – International Organisation for Migration) people don’t have anything to eat. Evidently, the important amount of money at disposal of IOM end up in security and personnel expenses, while very little is left to satisfy the basic needs of refugees. Maybe even less.

Zehida takes us to an Afghan family. We find a man sitting on the grass  in front of a crumbling farm, the door barred with wooden planks. He is the father of two boys: the young one is 6 years old, the other is 13. Two more kids live in Germany with their mother. They left from Jalalabad in 2016 when the Taliban threatened with death his family because the man used to work for Americans. Now the three men live in this abandoned house in the country close to town, not far from the spontaneous camp of Kladuša, closed last Autumn. The house is in ruin, a stable in the ground floor, no running water, only a dilapidated roof. The entrance is a one meter wide hole in the wall. They cook on a gas cooker. When it rains the river next to the house invades the ground floor, inhabited by warms, grass snakes, rats and beatles.  The past winter has been very harsh, the father says: ‘very cold, too much’. Zehida helps the family giving them food. She often takes home with her the young son, trying to ease the sadness and sorrow for the separation from his mother, who is waiting for him in Germany.

 

BIHAC

We arrive in Bihac in the late afternoon on Sunday July 7th. While going back from our hotel a few kilometers from the center, we give a ride to three Afghan guys rejected from the game. They ask us to be brought back to Vucjak rubbish dump. They have no chance to be readmitted in Bira camp. We imagine they must be really exhausted and without hope, if they ask for a lift to Vucjak. We know – we have seen them – that there are many of them walking down the road that flanks the Croatian border, on the top of the wooden mountains.

In the evening we have dinner with the Bagdad pharmacist and two refugees that we know well: Hussein, a Palestinian guy from Syria nephew of a refugee from 1948, and Fouad, who had lung surgery a few months ago due to a pathology contracted in the game.

The pharmacist is the wife of a policeman who used to work for the Americans. She tells us her story and cries. The dejected crying of this Iraqi woman seems to bend the distant desperation of populations, innocent victims of a story steered by the powerful countries and built on racism and nationalism.

Hussein suffers heart problems and asthma. He tells us he felt sick during the last game: he had to get out of the jungle with Fouad and call the police, who locked them into a container for six hours without food or water, only a bottle to serve as a toilet.

The day after (July 10th) we go to Bira, but we are denied the permission to enter the camp even though we asked the authorisation the week before via the email, rigorously following the procedure. So we go to the Red Cross to try and enter Vucjak camp, but we are rejected again. Vucjak camp grows on a disused rubbish dump under the Plesevnića, ten kilometres away from Bihac. It is run by the municipality and gathers in tents and containers all the refugees of Una-Sana canton. The Red Cross of Bihac is in charge of the management of the camp together with IPSIA, with its tea corner. All the people we meet say that conditions are terrible over there. Even IPSIA volunteers, while trying to mitigate the problems, say that it cannot last long. It is a political choice of Bihac municipality, because they want to highlight the unsustainable situation of the area in front of the international community.

July 2019

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The weather is warm when we leave Italy. When we arrive in Turkey it is a lot warmer.

This is positive, since it means that children have come through another winter in rough conditions. The sixth since we met them.

 

In Adana, every evening, we meet the interpreter who supports us in all our missions. He helps us to negotiate the cost and the preparation of packages and he looks for the van and the drivers that take us around. It’s not easy to organize the whole mission from Italy. We send emails, messages and we make phone calls and everything that will accelerate all the activities once we get there.  Nevertheless, it is very likely we incur in unexpected events, due to the language and the places where we go. The whole area is certainly not easy to travel. Security on the move and organization always come first.

This time we travel without a doctor and this will be a problem at the camp, still we couldn’t find anyone who could substitute the doctor that usually comes with us.

 

After some twists and unexpected events, we finally make it to the camp (it’s actually two camps in one area), where we distribute almost 500 food packs. The distribution becomes more and more organized each time, as we follow a list of families made within the camp itself from our contact persons.

The weather is hot. When we arrive at the camp, less children than usual are waiting for us since they are working in the surrounding cultivated fields. They are exploited for few euros a week. In the late afternoon they come back tired but always smiling, and we can spend some time with them.

Spending time with those children is heartbreaking but still deeply fulfilling. You feel helpless but alive. You learn how to go ahead, no matter what difficulties you have to overcome.

 

The morning after we move close to the border and deliver the checks to the 22 families we support.

We have one and a half day. It might appear to be a lot of time but actually it’s not, since we sit down and talk with each family. We try to be close to them so that it’s not only financial help they get from Italian families, but also support and understanding. I (Arianna) write down many things because I like bringing the news and the stories back home to the people that are helping these children and their families. I try to build an ongoing exchange in order to create a connection.

The conditions of the refugees are always though, almost desperate, from several years.

 

During the time we spend in Turkey or at the border with Syria, our contact of the Iraqi Red Cross distribute 300 food packs in the Barika camp, the same camp we went to give food and medical aid in February.

 

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For the first time we won’t go to the refugee camp that we have supported during the past years.

We will meet two contact persons in Gaziantep camp, in order to give solid ground to our future activities. We will then move to Kilis, where we intend to run a project to support families facing extreme conditions.

The meeting in Gaziantep is very important and cannot be postponed.

The camp has no organization and no NGO is there to support, apart from few occasional activities. We are the only ones trying to provide a regular supply of food, medical care and essential goods, critically needed in winter time.

Within the camp we are supported, but outside we don’t have many connections.

We decide, together with the two contact persons, that we will start the following activities: we will bring food packages every other month with their support, we will start a school project and we will try to support more closely the orphans (more than 100) living in the camp.

During winter time we commit to provide what is needed to stay warm.

This is an extremely big challenge, in financial terms, since we are a small organization. I personally (Arianna) am really concerned, but we do want to give this project a try, since no one else is there to help. We will try to cover more than 1000 children and almost 500 families facing conditions of real deprivation and despair.

In order to achieve our goals, refugees will be divided into small groups and we will look for donors who will take charge of each group. We will also write down a project in order to increase financial support.

In Kilis we selected 22 vulnerable families and we will connect them with 22 Italian families who will provide them with food and school supplies for children. These are usually families where mothers, often widows, don’t know how to feed their children and have no solution rather than sending them to work. Some of them have to take care of disabled children and/or elderly relatives.

Fathers are often missing, or they are mutilated and disabled, so they have no opportunity to work.

Our goal is consequently to support these families by providing essential needs, so they can at least feed the children and send them to school. In Kilis, unlike Gaziantep camp, they do have schools and we want to give children the opportunity to attend them. This is the only way they can save their lives.

 

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The journey from Italy to Erbil (Iraq) is always very hard, due to the schedules and length.

We are three: myself, Arianna, Andrea Palmucci (the phhotographer), and Marino Andolini (the doctor).

All of us are prepared for little sleep and tiredness.

After weeks of never-ending contacts and visas that seemed never to come we are ready to leave.

We land at night. It is very cold. Three hours more by car to reach our final destination: Sulaymaniyya, the town in Iraq, capital of the governatorate bearing the same name.

We get there at dawn and find accommodation in a block of the Red Crecent. No heating, even 3 blankets cannot give us some warmth to rest for a few hours.

Then meetings and meetings with our referents of the Red Crecent who organized the logistics of distribution of food supplies backed and brought there by our Onlus organization.

We meet also some people from ONU, UNHCR, and UFPA who are present in the refugee camps we support and are going to visit.

As it always happens, we visit some families at death point. They escaped from Afrin bringing with them just the bare minimum to survive.

The day after we go to Camp Barika. In a heavy rain that soon becomes sleet, and with a temperature below zero, we start the distribution of 527 parcels of food supplies. A full truck.

Marino Andolina , vith no rest, works all day long. I am freezing and, I must admit, am unable to do something.

 

The most vulnerable families had been chosen: orphans, war widows, seriously ill people, very large families.Later on, after our leaving, other 337 parcels will be handed out.

The distribution takes place under a shelter, but the queue of people waiting is so long that most of them are in the rain.

It is cold, very cold, and myself, Arianna, despite being properly dressed, almost feel ill.

Bare foot children, wearing just a cotton sweatshirt, exausted mothers with dull eyes, old people sitting on the ground. Nobody is ready to help an old woman alone. You cannot call first the weakest.

The distribution goes on in the sleet, that bites you , till early afternoon.

The camp is a shantytown, soaked in mud. Even in the rain we meet chilly children

who wander about or work. Some of them play, many come near. A lot of mothers follow us to offer something to eat, they want to thank us for the help given to their children, and also for the shots taken by Andrea with great tact and smiles.

It  was a hard, very hard job! The cold gives no escape,  wet to the bones!

But we will be back in our hotel tonight, we will have a good dinner, a bed and many blankets. A cold shower and a heater for the night.

We leave children, mothers, fathers and old people in conditions where we wouldn’t even have dogs.

And this does not make you sleep.

 

Next day we ask, as agreed, to visit other camps just to understand how to help them.

What we meet at Hasty and Arbat Camps is no different from what we saw the day before. The only difference is that these camps give hospitality to internal evacuated people receiving a little help from the Government.

 

We realize that we can never help everyone, never and never!

It would take tens of thousands of euros just now that funds have been cut to UNHCR.

We will try to focus on just one camp, Barika camp, and on a number of vulnerable families.

Ambitious project for which we have no money but we must find it because we cannot look elsewhere.

The snow falls thicker and softer.

Due to the snow a lot of people and, above all, children will die and we can’t do anything.

The return trip to Erbil, at night under the snow, was critical.

I personally leave with the feeling that what we have done is never enough.

How to explain to my children that we have only alleviated a small part of suffering and indifference?

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LIFE AT THE CAMP

Yet another departure for another mission! I don’t number them any longer, but I don’t blur any of them and I don’t forget any emotion they aroused .
We left at dead of night to stay longer in the camp, already tired and worried, as usual. When you leave you bring some burden with you, the burden of what you leave and what you already know you will meet. You know that you have to work very fast, your activities will be frantic and exhausting. The unforeseen always occurs.

We are only three this time, no doctor neither the photo reporter. Ok. That is. From Italy we asked the people there to get the food baskets ready. The families are 400 and the orphans are 40. We had launched a fundraising that unfortunately did not cover the cost of the food supplies. I feel discouraged and worried . Even the thought that in a while I ‘ll meet again the children and people who have been waiting for us for years is able to make me feel better.

When we get to the camp, after overcoming some difficulties, obstacles and so on, we find ourselves facing a surreal atmosphere.
The camp seems to be empty. No children run to meet us, no mothers or weary women, no men to welcome us.
All of them are tired, they have no hope and they are getting used to the idea that they will be left with no coumtry and with no rights there, in those camps for many years to come.
For the first time I have no words.

But then they appear. Slowly, very slowly …. and they are a lot, a crowd. The children look for attention, they take by your hand and try to communicate with hugs and signs, as they usually do.

We give out the food baskets. It takes 3 hours to meet the three camps. Some of the people will need medical treatment but the doctor is not here ; they were used to come together into a tent and line up to be seen by a doctor and receive medecins , but not this time! They are disillusioned, I am saddened. I feel guilty.

The children want to play, but there is not enough time. We carry on saying “baed” that means “dopo”. They
take you by the hand, they just want you to look at them, to spend a little bit of your time with them.
Women at the beginning stay aside, then they come near me and ask me how I feel, how are my children.
Men show through their lifeless eyes how much they appreciate what we are doing for them.We hand out the baskets and feel like to distribute, together with food, kindness and love that worm their heart. We smile at them, nearly joke. We brought some milk and candies, but it is getting dark, they will be shared tomorrow.

We have some tea sitting on the ground and our mind already is planning on what we will be doing during our next mission: either to give support to a school or to build a football pitch. Yes, we brought some footballs and we saw pure joy in the children’ s eyes! We think that a part from the body, also the soul should be cared if you want to have better citizens.

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