New Humanity Movement

Social Ethics

AngeliaRomaCities are often harbingers of dynamic networks made up of associations, services, run by people who work quietly to give citizenship to those who are marginalized by society. In Rome, for example, an "operational group" inspired by the ideal of fraternity, in prison. Here are some of their stories.

Alberto and Angelo

Alberto is a man between 50 and 60 years of age, looking quite poor in condition and has an odd job as a bricklayer. His brother Angelo has just been released from prison.

They live in a dilapidated apartment, a real hovel where disorder and chaos reign. It takes guts to get in that house. But with the desire to bring fraternity into the life of the city, which cries out in abandonment, we went with our friends to see them anyway. At first the two seem a bit suspicious to us, but then, slowly, feeling the solidarity and enjoying the family spirit created, become more spontaneous and relaxed with us.

Alberto and Angelo begin to tell their stories freely and it feels like there is a great desire to start life anew, perhaps after a dark period, dark for both. We listen in silence just looking to put ourselves in their situation, and to share joys and sorrows of a journey that has many wounds. Our proactive approach that will not give ready-made answers, reassures them and makes them feel welcome as they are.

Angelo is very experienced after many years in prison and drug addiction. His wife  committed suicide, while his son was entrusted to the maternal grandmother. He is looking for a job, but would need to recover a modicum of stability and confidence in himself, before being reintegrated into society.

With Alberto we try to make him aware of his state but also his potential, making him understand that sometimes you need to get help. At the same time we bring them food, help them with shopping, as often time, their fridge is completely empty, but above all we try to make them aware of not being alone in carrying these weights, and that together we can find huge potentials.

The way to go is still long, but meanwhile we are beginning to see the first results; the two brothers have put the house in order, making it more comfortable, while Angelo had the opportunity to spend a whole day with his son. He was able to buy him a pair of shoes, and shared with us all his happiness to have heard himself be called "Dad".

Francesco

Francesco has spent several years in prison. As a result of drugs, is squandering the inheritance from his parents. Alfonso, one of us,  helps him to save a part, making him buy a small apartment which he now rents out; receiving a small source of income to survive, but should get a job to live with dignity. Yet it is not easy in his condition.

Francesco lives with Claudia, who is not his girlfriend, but she once took him from the street and gave him hospitality. We often go to their house, and take with us basic living necessities, but above all our willingness to listen, to make them feel part of the community, a family.

Claudia is 100% disabled, and in this last period, her health has seriously deteriorated  physically and mentally, also as a result of the difficult situation of Francesco that frightened her.

One evening, already in our pajamas when we get a call from Francesco full of despair; in the late afternoon Claudia felt very ill and went to her aunt's house while he was gone, and now he cannot return home. He needs a jacket and shelter for the night.

We could not pretend nothing had happened, we dressed quickly, took a jacket that we had received and that we providentially had preserved, only now realizing why.

We met him on a sidewalk where he huddled in the cold and we had him put on the heavy jacket; we looked without success for a place for the night, but the episode revealed the need to return to Francesco his home property. We rallied a number of friends, including a civil lawyer and some experts on tax matters to understand how to pay the debts of Francis, partly remedied by a collection of money.

The life of Francesco in the street is still very difficult. We hear from each other often and sometimes we bring a bit of food and some money, but willingly procure also cell phone credit recharges necessary for him to keep in touch with us. Unfortunately he is still unable to maintain certain commitments, and we do not know which developments  the situation will take. It’s certainly important to continue to help, listen and accept him as he is, without requiring a change from him, doing whatever is within our reach.

(To be continued)

© Photo Copyright Lessio, Creative Commons License

 

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