They arrive in overloaded boats, unprotected, bringing with them only the hope for a better life – the African refugees’ passage to Europe resembles a long odyssey over the open Mediterranean Sea, to which not all of them survive.
Those who arrive at the Italian coast will, first of all, go to one of the overcrowded reception camps. These are places, which make their previous hopes fade away and put a hard reality into the foreground.
The camp near the small Sicilian town Mineo is one of these places. Behind a high fence, there are about 4,000 people, most of them African men who have left their families back in Somalia, Eritrea or Sudan. In fact, the camp offers space only for 2,000 persons. It is very crowded and uncomfortable.
Enos Nolli has already had contact to the refugees for a long time and in the midst of all this desolation his commitment catches on. Together with his staff, the head of the Italian organization GiM – Gioventù in Missione – he cares for these people, eats with them and has rented a flat in the center of Mineo, in order to be able to distribute urgently needed clothes and shoes to the needy. Moreover, the refugees can use a free internet access there, to keep in touch with their families.
In cooperation with Jugend mit einer Mission (JMEM) (Youth with a mission- YWAM)) from Hurlach in Upper Bavaria, humedica has supported Enos Nolli’s efforts for three years already, by sending and distributing aid supplies.
Some weeks ago, a team of six set out again for Sicily. Their baggage: about 600 pairs of shoes, 50 sleeping bags as well as 20 blankets and bibles in Tigrinya, which is the language mainly spoken in Eritrea.
During their contacts with the African refugees in Mineo, the German helpers got an insight into their circumstances. The frustration about the long stay in the reception camp is becoming clear.
Most of the men have been there for more than seven months and want to leave at last. They want to leave Italy and go to one of the rich European countries like Germany or France. They don’t know what is awaiting them there, but everything is better than the life in the camp, they say.
Besides the refugee camp in Mineo, the German JMEM-team also visits the town Ragusa, where in the course of a little celebration, further aid supplies could be distributed to the African refugees.
Here, too, the men talk about their desire for a permanent home and about the strain of the separation from their families and friends. But knowing that there are people who think of them and who help them with all their heart, gave new perspective and hope for the future to these uprooted people.
This help could become possible not least through the generous support by German companies like the company Deichmann SE. For the recent distribution on Sicily, chairman Heinrich Deichmann donated about 600 pairs of new shoes for the African refugees, who most of the time own nothing but the clothes they are wearing when they arrive in Europe.
And this hasn’t been the first help of the long-established company from Essen. Already in 2012, Deichmann SE offered 50,000 Euros worth of shoes for the distribution on Sicily to humedica.
It is this kind of fulfillment of social responsibility, together with charitable commitment of organizations like Jugend mit einer Mission which clears the way for the humedica supply assistance.
Please become part of this important branch of humanitarian aid, too, and support humedica with your company or as a private person. Your donation will in each case find its direct way to the people, like the African refugees in Sicily. Thank you very much!
Reference "Supply Assistance"
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00