“S is 31 years old. He arrived in Italy a little over a month ago, having made an exhausting journey on foot from Pakistan to Milan, via the Balkan route. To make the journey even harder, one of his feet was horribly broken and went untreated.
A faded yellow hallway. A scooter by the front door.
G. is sitting on the ground by his three children. In front of him is a pack of food, delivered a few days ago by our volunteers Marco and Cristiana. Before the medical crisis, G. had a car hire firm, but the recession has left him jobless. As he tells us about his predicament, he keeps holding on to that brown cardboard. He almost seems to want to caress it, to protect it as you do someone you really care for. We’re in the Casilino neighbourhood of Rome on a sunny day.
But G. is not the only one we meet on our delivery rounds, so we get back in our car.
Just outside the ring road we meet a married couple, A. and D. They are both Croatian and very young, not even 30. He worked as a gardener for nearby houses before the crisis. Now they’ve found themselves struggling to feed their five children without anyone’s help; they can’t do it. After telling us all this, they thank us and say goodbye to us on the road outside their house.
In some of the capital’s municipalities and in Milan, we are giving packages of food and personal care products to families hit by the social crisis unleashed by COVID-19.
We’re starting to discover stories, experiences and lifechanging moments brought on by the recession. We want to stay by these people’s side. We can’t think of deserting them now.
It’s a question of dignity, rights, healthcare and, above all, humanity.