Migrants, the big heart of Crotone and Cutro: solidarity contest

Collection of food and clothing and there are those who make family niches available

(from the correspondent Elvira Terranova) – The great heart of Crotone and Cutro was set in motion a few minutes after the first news of the tragic shipwreck a week ago in Steccato di Cutro, costing the lives of 70 people so far, including 16 children and many women. When the people of Crotone woke up on the morning of February 26, with fragmentary news and then, gradually, more complete, many went to the Cara di Isola Capo Rizzuto, where the survivors were taken, to deliver clothes, shoes , covers.

Everything that could serve the survivors, many in shock and many who have lost children, mothers, fathers, friends. There were so many bags that arrived that a citizen was told: “Thank you, but we don’t need any more clothes”. So he left his phone number, because, “if you need anything, I’m here”. They didn’t expect to receive the appreciation and “gratitude” to the “local population and institutions for their solidarity and acceptance of these brothers and sisters of ours”, directly from Pope Francis, who said it today during the Angelus St. Peter’s Square.

The same scenes of solidarity that have been repeated since Sunday morning at the ‘San Giovanni Di Dio’ hospital in Crotone, where 13 survivors are still hospitalised. Including some children, one with Covid. Here, too, toys and clothing have arrived. But also food for the little ones. However, the needs were quite different: who paid for the overnight stays of relatives arriving from all over Europe? From Germany, Denmark, Holland? At that point it was the turn of the associations and the social services department of the Municipality of Crotone. And since Thursday the support of the Calabria Region has also arrived.

The lawyer Verri, ‘proud of the response of my people, people of Calabria’

The Crotonese associations have made available psychologists, mediators, all the beds they had. Not only the associations but also Crotone entrepreneurs who wanted to remain anonymous paid for the hotels and B&Bs. There is also the “On the road” camper, parked a few meters from the Palamilone, where the 70 coffins are located. For years, the camper has been distributing meals daily to migrants, but not only. And then there are even those who have offered the family niches, such as an elderly lady from Botricello, or a citizen of Vibo Valentia who has made two niches of her chapel available.

“I am proud of the response of my people, the people of Calabria, in the face of this terrible tragedy. The population has mobilized in one piece: to save the poor shipwrecks; to search for the missing; to deliver basic necessities to the survivors; to comfort the families of the victims, to mourn the dead”, Francesco Verri, a lawyer from Crotone, who legally represents some families of the victims, told Adnkronos. “Thousands of people of all ages greeted and paid homage to the coffins lined up in the arena with respect and emotion – he continues – It is as if each of us had lost a family member on that terrible night. There is no difference between ‘us’ and ‘ them’. The ‘their’ must no longer exist. This is the message sent – with firm composure – by a civil, dignified, profoundly human Calabria. And with the same seriousness, with trust and without hysteria, Crotone also awaits to know the results of the investigations by the judiciary which is reconstructing what happened in those cursed hours”.

The lawyer Salvatore Celso, President of Aiga of Crotone, adds: “There are tragic events that move us all, unfortunately we are “used” to turning on the TV and in that moment when the news is disclosed we feel a knot in the Then we listen to the comments, the controversies and maybe we end up forming our own more or less critical idea of ​​responsibilities and what could or should have been done”.

“Then one morning it happens that you wake up and that same news you listen to every morning makes you learn that one of those events happened just around the corner from home, you hear that a boat full of people has shipwrecked on the coast of your city – he says still the lawyer- The news follows one another, in the following days you see directly with your own eyes the pain of those who have lost children, siblings, parents or simple companions on that cursed journey. At that point you no longer have the filter of the TV or of reading through a newspaper and the thought is only for those people, those brothers for those who believe in God, and the controversies you were interested in when you hadn’t experienced the news directly, forgive, at least in this phase, that centrality that often you attributed to him”.

“In this circumstance you have seen messaging groups become vectors of requests for what could be useful to do and you begin to understand a sense of community among your fellow citizens and empathy with those who experience that drama, which you didn’t even know could be like this strong – concludes the lawyer – There has not been a single fellow citizen with whom I have had the opportunity to speak or to confront who has not had as first thought “how can we make ourselves useful?” “what can we do?”. In all this pain, however, we can say that all of us Crotone did not hesitate for a single second in feeling like brothers, sisters and friends of all those people directly involved and that with them we are sharing the pain of a tragedy that other men, evidently lacking that sense of human brotherhood they’ve caused”.