From “The eyes of Lampedusa” to “Eyes on the borders”: the new year brings changes to the column in the weekly bulletin NEV- Evangelical news dedicated to the “Mediterranean Hope” (MH) project of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI).
For more than a year and a half operators of the project funded by the “8×1000” system of the Waldensian and Methodist Churches have recounted experiences, stories, testimonies, tragedies and victories of those who pass through or live permanently in Lampedusa, where the FCEI has been present since May 2014 with an observatory on Mediterranean Migration. This was followed by “eyes” looking from Scicli in Ragusa, where the FCEI opened the “House of Cultures” a very special reception centre for vulnerable migrants, which also serves as a meeting place for all citizens.In the pages of the NEV bulletin, week after week our operators have reported from those local –geographically but also symbolically – “border places” situated between seas, islands, boats, life jackets, no man’s land, populations, languages, cultures, histories. In the meantime, the MH project has grown and spread out and now, also thanks to the opening of humanitarian channels, our operators are working on new and old borders: not only in Lampedusa and Scicli situated at the southern border of the “European Fortress”, but also on the borders between Syria and Lebanon, Ceuta and Morocco, Mexico and the United States. Risky borders, which nevertheless are crossed by flows of desperate people, even at the cost of dying. With the column “Eyes on the Borders” we will talk about what happens on this side and on the other side of the barbed wire, in the endless expanses of deserts, at the checkpoints, on the rocks at the doors of Africa, and also on the seas that continue to swallow the young and old.
The Hopes of the Most Vulnerable, by Simone Scotta - MH Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon, January 27th 2016 – These days we are in Lebanon to identify those who will move to Italy through the humanitarian corridors as a team of Mediterranean Hope - the project promoted by FCEI. We have been spending these long days on visiting families, in camps, garages or shabby apartments or alternatively at meetings with NGOs and local institutions. Read More
Find the Differences: Stories From the Border, by Marta Bernardini - MH Arizona
Arizona, United States (NEV), January 20th 2016 – The man was sitting by the roadside. He did not look worried while the car was approaching. He just looked up and said: "Have you seen my son? I'm looking for him but I cannot find him". He was sitting since he had both hips broken and two bottles of water that were almost empty. With their red hats pulled down against this strong sun, the volunteers apologised, "no, we have not seen your son,". Then, they gave him clean water and called an ambulance. When the volunteers returned the next day to see how he was, the man was gone. They did not see that man any more, strongly wondering if he had ever found his son. Read More
“No fingerprints!” The protest of Eritreans in Lampedusa, by Alberto Mallardo - MH Lampedusa
Lampedusa, Agrigento, 13 January 2016 – In recent weeks, numerous cries of “No fingerprints!” have echoed through the streets of Lampedusa. These cries come from two hundred Eritreans who have been detained on the island since December. The young men refuse to have their digital fingerprints taken by the forensic police operating in the first European hotspot, because they oppose the objectifying mechanisms of the European relocation system. At first glance, their protest might appear paradoxical. Read More