Italy – Good Christians and Upright Citizens in the heart of Rome, serving the homeless

26 October 2020

(ANS - Rome) - The Salesian commitment to fight Covid-19 is a global initiative as much as the pandemic is global, and has not left any Salesian Province or presence in the world indifferent. This is true not only in the extreme peripheries of the Congregation, but also at its base: last Friday, at the "Sacred Heart" in Rome, which houses the Salesian Headquarters, the young people of the Salesian oratory, in collaboration with the international volunteer organization "Serve the City", distributed health kits for the prevention of coronavirus infections to the homeless around Termini station.

While Covid-19 has returned to lash European countries with greater vigor, and again, as in the spring, the Italian authorities have issued provisions and limitations to invite people, young and old, to stay at home, moved by Salesian charism (good Christians) and civic commitment (upright citizens) the young volunteers scoured the streets of the center of Rome to give hope and help to people without a shelter.

From 19 to 24 October, the volunteers of “Serve the City - Rome” activated a campaign to collect anti-contagion products, carried out through social networks and word of mouth; for the collection of materials they were also able to count on the quarters of the "Sacred Heart" and the Salesian oratory-youth center, which is coordinated by Fr Francisco Santos. Thus, thanks to the solidarity of many individual citizens, Italians and foreigners, it was possible to assemble over a hundred "health kits" each containing a bottle of sanitizer, two masks, and packs of moistened tissues and paper tissues.

On the evening of Friday 23, the distribution to the homeless took place. It was led by the boys and girls of the "Sacred Heart" oratory in Rome who, every Friday evening, as part of the activities of the "“La Banca dei Talenti, the Bank of Talents", are in the streets distributing food and drinks, why they can already boast a good knowledge of the people of the area, their stories and needs.

“The spirit of our organization, born in Belgium about 15 years ago and then spread to many areas around the world, is to work in collaboration with organizations that are already present in the territory. Our interest, in fact, is not to replace anyone, but to create connections between resources and needs,” explains Caterina Berardi, coordinator of “Serve the City - Roma”.

In line with the theme of the International Forum of "Serve the City", also held over the weekend just ended, the distribution of kits and meals took place under the motto "Spread Kindness". And given the happy experience achieved, the volunteers of both groups have decided to renew their commitment to cooperate in favor of those who live on the street, creating new expeditions to help them cope with the Covid-19 emergency and the cold of the forthcoming winter.


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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