An ordinary morning

Publish date 28-09-2023

by Simona Pagani

I leave the church to go to reception. During the night, accompanied by the police, a woman arrived with her children. I'm going to meet them. Fatna has one half-closed eye and a very large bruise that extends from her forehead to her cheekbone. She shows me the hospital papers: 30 days of prognosis. Meanwhile, the phone starts ringing: there's a Tunisian boy on the switchboard, asking for a change of clothes. He is 12 years old, he says he arrived in Lampedusa and joined some acquaintances in Turin. He lives in a garage.

It's 10am and Gaia, a university intern, is waiting for me. Let me introduce you to Joy, a girl who had the courage to escape the trafficking circuit and over time she learned the language, obtained her middle school diploma, attended a cooking course and for months has had a permanent contract as an assistant. cook. Gaia will help her in the arduous task of finding a home so that Joy can finally experience her full independence. Passing by the switchboard I glimpse a familiar face: she is Joana from Angola, she was our guest a few years ago. I approach to greet her, she is here because she brought an offering for the flood victims of Emilia Romagna.

10.30am, Nchecì, a Nigerian nun, is at the door, she has come to accompany some newly arrived guests to the clothes emporium. Being able to choose what to wear is important for everyone, especially for those who find themselves with nothing. She rings her cell phone again from the kitchen, they tell me that Ludmila, 87 years old, Ukrainian, has felt ill. We met her a year ago when she fled Mariupol with her family. She immediately made herself available for volunteering: she is a force of nature! Nothing serious, just a small drop in blood pressure...but how scary!

The online meeting begins at 11am with the adults in difficulty table, in which the services that deal with homeless people participate. I connect apologizing for the delay... they ask us if we are available to welcome an Ivorian lady with lung cancer; she is in a dormitory and undergoing radiation therapy. Due to the illness she lost her job and her home. Her cell phone vibrates, she is Lind from Peru, with us for 10 days. She's at the police station, she can't make it back in time to pick up the baby from nursery. I end the meeting and run to get Cielo, 3 years old, with the fear that he will burst into tears not seeing his mother, but instead he looks at me, runs towards me and takes me by the hand. We are ready to go home.

Simona Pagani

NP Giugno Luglio 2023

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