Christmas on this side of the sea

22 December 2017
Photo: "Salesiani per il Sociale"

Telecommunications companies intensify their sales promotions during the Christmas season and it is very clear to them that immigrants need to talk with friends and family.

When the years go by and the overseas stays become longer, sadness becomes a feauture of Christmas for the friends and relatives far from home due to natural causes or great distance.

Marta will be spending her second Christmas alone again. She cannot send a doll to her daughter, or a Playstation to her son, because she has not found anyone who can send them to her country in Africa.

Mario has been saving money for his family in Colombia for months and will manage to send it through a friend who is returning to their country. But this time Mario will not phone because when he hears his children he cannot stop crying."Here, we meet with friends from Angola and we cook food from our land, to feel at home," says Marco.

Christmas has something in common all over the world: the irresistible need to be with those you love. It is one of the most profound needs of the human being: sharing with others, making sure that love between people expresses itself through encounters, moments to live together, expressions of affection, the exchange of gifts.

There are people everywhere who, for one reason or another, migrate and try to integrate into countries that offer them better opportunities in life, millions of immigrants who move from home through all possible means in their search for a better future.

And the European coast sees a new type of migrant: unaccompanied minors; only in 2016, 25846 unaccompanied minors reached the Italian coast. They are children sent by their parents, who pay between 800 and 1500 euros each, and they are part of an army of displaced persons who have lost everything. In most cases, these children arrive in a society that receives them with indifference. Fortunately, the Church and other social organs try as much as possible towards creating a future for themselves, providing life's basic necessities, and helping them become  a member of society.

During these Christmas celebrations, God invites us to look at the weakest; for us, these little immigrants are the clearest and most vivid image of the poor who claim their right to life. They are not the “consumer” of reference for large telecommunications companies - they have no credit, little money to spend on phone calls. But they are the faces of those who most need the message of love and hope that Jesus came to bring.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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