Italy – US shopping vouchers for poor families in Sampierdarena, thanks to Salesian commitment

12 April 2021
Photo: Don Bosco Genova

(ANS - Genoa) - Over 70 needy families in the Genoese district of Sampierdarena have received a shopping card that will allow them to shop for 35 euros a week for the next three months, for a total of 420 euros per family. This is a concrete measure to  help the many people in difficulty following the pandemic, deployed in the Salesian "Don Bosco" parish in Genoa thanks to a loan from "UsAid", the American international development agency, to “Salesiani per il Sociale APS” and to the Salesian NGO “International Volunteer Service for Development” (VIS).

Wafa arrived in Italy from Tunisia 20 years ago with her husband. She has three children and her husband's bricklaying job had allowed them to get by until recently, but with the pandemic, the demand for labor has decreased and "keeping five people without even one salary is impossible," she testifies.

Those who received the card are originally from Senegal, Tunisia, Ecuador, but also Eastern Europe and some from Italy; they have lived in Sampierdarena for years, and if before the pandemic they'd managed to keep a family, not without difficulty, they can no longer do so today. Overall for Sampierdarena, it is 30 thousand euros, an important breath of fresh air in a reality like the one that revolves around the “Don Bosco” parish.

The choice of families to help with the "Money Cards" required much work. Fr Pierdante Giordano, parish priest of "Don Bosco", committed himself to this initiative with the volunteers of the parish Caritas group and the "Nodo sulle Ali del Mondo - Node on the Wings of the World", referent in Sampierdarena of "VIS" and "Salesians for Social APS". They started with families already assisted by Caritas itself and by "San Vincenzo"; scores were assigned based on the members of the family unit, the Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator (ISEE), the possible loss of work of one of the members, the age of the children ... and the work has also expanded beyond the parish.

Caritas of Sampierdarena, through the Salesians of Don Bosco, has been helping various families in the area in conditions of poverty for years: “For now, we are following 180 and these 72 are the most needy among those to which the young people of 'Don Bosco' bring their food packages that they prepare by drawing on the food bank. This Card is a great help for these groups, which we will continue to help anyway,” he adds.

The rechargeable card project, says Michela Vallarino, Vice President of VIS, “was born at the request of the Italian Salesians who asked themselves how to support families in this pandemic. This is a cooperation project made in collaboration with the United States and which was not limited only to the Cards, but which in Sampierdarena also saw the distribution of protective devices, when last year they were difficult to find, and of 470 tablets throughout Italy, to enable those who could not afford a device to access distance learning.”


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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