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Refugees become Volunteers for New Refugees

A beautiful story by my favorite La Repubblica reporter, Claudia Brunetto. I translate it here:
They arrived last June at the port of Palermo, picked up on the high seas by a military ship. And since then they live in the parish of Falsomiele, guided by Father Sergio Mattaliano, director of the Catholic charity Caritas of Palermo. They are seven immigrants, originally from Mali, the Gambia, and the Ivory Coast who are now part of the big family of the parish on the edge of town. Some of them have symbolically started to use the last name "Mattaliano" and they introduce themselves willingly with Italian first names like "Pietro" or "Francesco." One of the Moslem faith has started a journey of faith towards conversion to Catholicism. For them now there is the chance for work on the communal farm established by Caritas in the town of Cimmina. But what they like best is to be present at the arrival of their African brothers. Miguel, Lamin, Kolly, Mahoul and all the others went from looking for help to becoming Caritas volunteers themselves, ready to help other refugees who arrive by sea. "For me it is important to help my African brothers," says Miguel of the Gambia --"To help at the arrival is an intense emotion because I remember how I felt during my own journey. In the Gambia I lost my whole family and then also my sister, at sea. I owe a lot to Palermo and I know what it means to need help."

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