Together to find each other people
Fundraising by Elona Aliko
Hi, I'm Elona and since June I've been on theisland of Lesbos, Greece, as a volunteer of Operazione Colomba, the nonviolent peace corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII.
Every day I deal with people who are fleeing from countries at war or where their lives are in extreme danger. They face a risky journey to reach the longed-for Europe, hoping to find peace and denied rights.
YetEurope, the champion of rights, turns into a prison for these people. They live in closed, guarded and controlled camps. In plastic tents where in winter the cold penetrates your bones and in summer the heat suffocates your breath. Most of these people are children who do not know what it means to live in a house.
Being here allows me to meet them, to recognize them and recognize myself in them, to hear their stories and the injustices they suffer, but above all it allows me to share a piece of life. Together we laugh, we cry, we chat, we look into each other's eyes and we embrace to find ourselves whole.
Together we try to find a solution to everyday problems, to the lack of food, to health problems, to legal problems... together we build a new way to find ourselves as people.
Your help is important to continue with our presence and support the refugees in their needs.
Help me to continue this project that is very important to me!
Thank you for your help!
The Soul Warehouse
2 years, 2 months ago
You know those Amazon department stores with all the packages piled up waiting to be distributed? The refugee camp is like that.
It is "the warehouse of souls" crammed into a tiny space in the indifference of everyone. Waiting to be able to travel, to reach their destination just like the parcels waiting to be distributed. With only one difference: the packages are free to move while the souls are not, they are blocked because of our choices. They spend an indefinite amount of time crammed together.
In the storehouse of souls you encounter only despair and fear. As I write I think of the deep pain I would feel seeing my grandson grow up in a warehouse for souls. Without a home, food, a school, a space to play. Without freedom, dreams and hopes. Without the right to grow up as a child. The soul warehouse is overflowing with people, refugees they call them, I like to call them "People in search of an embrace, of happiness, of dreams, of peace" with a veil of nostalgia always in my heart.
The adult child
2 years, 2 months ago
Dear Pope Francis,
My name is Samir and I am an Afghan of Hazara ethnicity. I was born in Herat and I am 15 years old. I often sit alone on a bench staring at the Aegean Sea, thinking about what my life would be like if I had not arrived here, where I would be right now, in what part of the world. I think about everything that has happened to me over the years and I feel pain, anger and bitterness. I feel so much nostalgia for my home.
My mother died when I was little while my father is old and sick. I found myself alone, catapulted into the world without the certainty of tomorrow. I had to grow up fast and make choices as if I were an adult: live or survive.
Ileft alone for Europe in search of a safe place and a dignified life. I crossed the sea that divides Greece from Turkey, I had never seen the sea before.
When I left I was full of dreams and hopes, finally I would find the tranquility that I never experienced in Afghanistan. But this was not the case!
To look into your eyes
2 years, 2 months ago
The Pope's words on his visit to the Moria 2.0 camp left so much joy in the refugees but also so much bitterness because they were not able to give voice to their cry of pain and injustice and tell the truths hidden from the eyes of so many.
His message is strong that he chooses to return to Lesvos a second time.
"We need to wake up from the paralysis of fear!Those who fear you have not looked you in the eyes. Those who fear you have not seen your faces. Those who fear you have not seen your children. "
It is a political message, a criticism towards Europe that continues to build walls instead of bridges.
"Let us not let the mare nostrum turn into a desolating mare mortuum, let this meeting place become a theatre of confrontation! Let us not allow this "sea of memories" to turn into the "sea of forgetfulness". Let's stop this shipwreck of civilization!"
We must build a future of peace, rights and equality. For all.