Valbona (Como – Italy), December 2020

 To all donor friends.

 

Dearest and most dear,

first of all we want to thank all of you who supported us in the «Adopt a family »: thanks for the closeness and generosity shown towards the Association and above all children and mothers welcome.

 This 2020 has been a complicated year for all of us, a year in which we had to face unexpected and completely new difficulties: for this reason, having been able to count on your contributions was crucial. We would like to briefly tell you about the main results obtained thanks to your help; first, however, we would like to tell you about the cultural work that we are carrying out in the area and which for us is of primary importance.

 Spreading principles and values ​​of hospitality and human solidarity is the foundation and purpose constitutive of our Association. In such a difficult time we managed to be a point of reference for young Italians, migrants, people in difficulty or who went through moments of bewilderment. Everyone found in us support and cooperation.

We have created moments of meeting, training and discussion - some of which in videoconferencing - with friends, volunteers and supporters, involving in our activities also the inhabitants of the country; some of them initially looked at us with distrust, but today they appreciate our work and above all the spirit that animates it, our way of being.

We have also participated in events organized by other associations.

An important aspect was the consolidation of our collaboration with other associations active in the area: «Umanamente» (cultural association of Canzo), «Como accoglie»  (voluntary organization) and «Miledù» (Como's social enterprise); we have continued our interaction with Don Giusto, from the parish of Rebbio. We have also strengthened the dialogue with associations at national level, such as «La Comune umanista socialista», whose values ​​and principles we share.

 Let's now turn to our commitment to hospitality. Currently our guests come all from Nigeria: they crossed the desert and they were interned in real concentration camps where they have suffered blackmail, violence and abuse of all kinds. Some of them have been child brides, while others are victims of the trafficking of prostitution; almost none of our children know their father.

 In this very special 2020, it was possible to organize - for children who were unable to attend school - an "internal kindergarten" in our home in Valbrona; during the summer we prepared the garden by equipping it with a swimming pool for their games. In September we took them to the beach for the weekend.

We resumed the Italian lessons in the internal school even during summer to recover the hours lost during the lockdown; the goal we set ourselves is to get our guests an A2 certificate at the end of the current school year.

Let’s talk now about personal stories. Odion was able to take a professional course for floor maid and she did an internship that resulted in hiring in an important hotel; it was a very tiring period for her, both because she had to follow part of the lessons in videoconference, both for the distance to travel each day to the workplace.

Supporting her in the study and supporting her in the care of her child was very demanding, but the results obtained reward us for the efforts. Odion got a 5-year residence permit and she will soon leave our home to live as an independent mother and woman together with his partner: he is also our former guest, now independent but always present and active in the Association (of which he is also a member).

Esther, who we have continued to host in our home for almost 2 years although without protection from the State, she is now one of our operators, regularly hired by the Association so as to be able to renew the residence permit: having one salary she managed to become independent and found an apartment to move to.

She currently works with us and she is a valuable help as a link between guests and other operators. The next step will be to attempt reunification with her daughter, still living in Nigeria: we have already taken action for this. Her son Gift, the oldest of our children, attends kindergarten and divides his time between his new home and our, which he feels like his and where he has all his friends. 

In addition to Odion and Esther with their children, we host other 3 mothers and 4 children who are with us for less than a year; each of them is following its own path. There is Precious with his little Divine: very young mother coming from a complicated situation that was possible to resolve also thanks to our lawyer. Precious also had serious difficulties in looking after and educating her child; we had to work hard, sometimes even with hard confrontations, to trigger in her that choice of responsibility that will allow her to build a peaceful life. Last June Precious left the house, perhaps trusting false promises, but already in August she asked us to return. Who leaves the protection voluntarily, however, can no longer be integrated; it was therefore necessary a difficult negotiation with the Prefecture, at the end of which, to the amazement of other operators who work in our sector, we were able to get her reinstatement. Precious has returned more motivated and with a proactive attitude, so we believe that together we will succeed in get good results.

Since February Edith has been our guest - a woman who has proved to be very mature - with her children, two boys of 2 and 3 years who initially showed the signs of a troubled past; they are both much better now, both physically and on a psychological one. Edith also had health problems and had to undergo surgery to solve them. Mother and children are all well now; Edith is very busy, engaging in temporary jobs. We also hosted the father of the little ones at our expense, who is not entitled to protection; he stayed with us a few months because he had no home either work. He recently found accommodation and is no longer our guest. 

The latest arrival is Elisabeth: a new mother with her "little" Greatness: little, so to speak, - he is a giant baby with two lively eyes, and he is so sweet!

The only male guest in the house is Isidoro, an elderly person who has been with us for over two years. For a long time in the front row in defending the rights of immigrants in Castel Volturno, Isidoro helped to build one of the most important anti-racist and interethnic association in Italy "Association 3 February", proving to be a person of solid values. We welcomed him willingly, to help him overcome a difficult moment that had led him to live on the street. His presence in the house created some difficulties, attributable to deep problems crystallized due to the precarious condition in which he lived for years; we have therefore prepared, in agreement with him, a challenging path of recovery supported by the Municipality (with which Isidoro has had a close relationship for several years). This project is starting to give encouraging results both from the point of view of health, and - above all - from the human and relational one.

During the lockdown we also hosted Alberto: a person with mental discomfort who has been with us from early March to late June, achieving significant improvements; unfortunately the family has thwarted our work by allowing him to spend 3 months in vacation without being seriously followed. For this reason the recovery path arranged for Alberto was suspended.

During the summer we also hosted Carmine, another person with mental illness, together with his mother Mimma. With Carmine we are carrying out a welcome project that plans to host him a week a month with us so that Mimma can rest and recover energy.

We have also had a couple of cases where we have not been able to obtain satisfactory results: a particularly problematic woman who was referred to a specialized facility, and another one who left the house voluntarily.

We hope not to have bored you, but it seems important to us to make you participate in the activities of our Association; we are sorry this year for not being able to open the doors of our home to invite you to share with us the events that in the past have allowed us to meet and get to know each other.

It was thanks to your donations that children were able to enjoy a few days of holiday: it was great to see their happy smiles and joy in their eyes as they played on the beach, by the same sea they had to cross in order to survive.

All this was possible thanks to you who supported us; we hope you will continue to stay close to us.

 At the end of November, the 2020 fundraising campaign which was so precious for the continuation of our activities, ended. We now ask you a further thought for us.

 The fundraising campaign for 2021 will open from December: I remind you of our

 IBAN IT13 U030 6909 6061 0000 0144 428.

Thank you on behalf of all mothers, children, guests, operators and members of the Association Donatella "Lella" Moltani.

Thanks for your closeness, thanks for your support.