Exemple

In October we go to the camp twice: in mid-October and at the end of the month. Since our last mission in August, we have worked tirelessly to the project of the water well for the camp. We have developed the project through many contacts, quotations, video calls and we have run a fundraising campaign.

The works started at the beginning of October and now me and Luca are there to monitor the improvements and deliver the funds collected.

We check the excavations and notice that they have already reached the water. We assist to the building of the internal coating and buy the extraction pump.

We spend few beautiful days at the camp and we are deeply fulfilled by the awareness that this project will change the life and health conditions of hundreds of people and children. The children’s happiness is immense after they see the water coming out of the well.

During this mission we also provide support to the most fragile people of the camp, as we always do, and we start to buy the materials needed to re-open the Rainbow Tent. Lastly, we organise the creation of a second school tent as we realise that we cannot fit all children just in one.

 

At the end of October we go back to the camp, together with the doctor (Anna), the teacher responsible for the tents (Elisabetta), and the photographer (Paolo).

The building of the well is finished in one part of the camp. The water comes out and people can take it manually, but our intention by the end of the year is to install the filters, the accumulation tank, and build other points of supply throughout the camp.

For two entire days doctor Anna visits and cures everyone who is in need. She examines the conditions of malnourished children we are used to follow, as well as the new cases.

Together with Elisabetta, we select 4 teachers for the two Rainbow Tents. She also organises the activities that will take place over the next months. The opening of the school activities is a touching moment of happiness.

Later we distribute the supplies of milk powder to the malnourished children and the vouchers to the orphans supported by Italian donors. Again we find new kids and families in need that will have to be associated to new donors.

We finally distribute food packs to all the families (following as usual the lists prepared from the two coordinators of the camp) and we take care of supporting the most fragile and unlucky people in the camp.

Me and Luca stay at the camp two more days in order to organise the widespread web of support that we really want to provide.

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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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Exemple

In January and February the weather was cold and the children of the camp were all barefoot and had no jackets. Only me (Arianna) and Luca made it to the camp this time, but we managed to buy and distribute 2 tracks full of boots and jackets to more than 1000 children. The organisation of the distribution is never easy, but this time we have been able to hand out boots and clothes of the right size to every child, thanks to the support of many people in the camp.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford distributing food packs to the 800 families of the camp: money is never enough and we can only rely on the spontaneous contributions from the donors. Still we were able to give milk to malnourished children and vouchers to the orphans. These young children live in very harsh conditions, they are alone in the camp and the older ones already work in the fields nearby for a few euros per day.

The contributions from the generous donors help children to cover their basic needs, but we strongly believe in the importance of education as the most important instrument we can offer them to change their life. SSCH relies on the school tent (Rainbow Tent) since it is the only place where children can spend a few peaceful hours, learning how to write, read and count. The management of the tent activities is not easy because the kids don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to games and instruction, even though this should be their everyday life. Still they are really willing to learn and play and have a break from a life made of hard work and sacrifice. Life has deprived them of their childhood, but in the tent they can live a moment of peace and light, and we are very proud of that.

Just a few drops in an ocean of grief and indifference.

 

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