Protestants Are With Mimmo Lucano, Open Arms, Sea-Watch and Pilotes Volontaires


(NEV) The Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI): solidarity is a civil duty, welcome is engraved in our Constitution. Signed the partnership with Mimmo Lucano, Sea-Watch, Pilotes Volontaires, Open Arms

The FCEI together with Mimmo Lucano, Proactiva Open Arms, Sea Watch, Pilotes Volontaires. Today has been signed the partnership agreement for economic and logistical support with  Giorgia Linardi, of the non-profit organisations Sea Watch and Pilotes Volontaires, and with  Mimmo Lucano to collaborate in Riace. These initiatives that support search and rescue operations and reception activities will be add to the partnership with Open Arms.

By recalling the biblical concept of the  filoxenia, which invites us to welcome strangers, the president of the FCEI Pastor Luca Maria Negro quoted the document that has been a recently approved by the General Conference of the Italian Protestant churches which denounces growing intolerance: « The Bible invites us to build open and intercultural communities, beyond any ethnic barrier. Solidarity is not a crime, it is not a weakness to be ashamed of, but it is a civil duty, as per our  Welcome Manifesto that should be posted in our churches.» Today we want to do something more. We want to put a stress on solidarity and reaffirm that a reception system and the actions that are put in place to support migrants are not a crime, since they are inscribed in our Constitution and, for us the believers in our faith. We want to do it on land, as we have been doing with the humanitarian corridors, in Gioiosa Ionica, in Reggio Calabria and soon also in Riace. At sea, as we have been doing in partnership with the NGO Proactiva Open Arms, and now also from the sky.»  Paolo Naso, coordinator of the Mediterranean Hope project promoted by FCE, said.

This partnership concerns a project of welcoming migrants in Riace, provided by the Cooperative company Nelson Mandela of Gioiosa Jonica, the Association Città futura di Riace, the association International House of Reggio Calabria as well as supporting agricultural and ecotourism programmes to contrast unstructured shantytowns. Moreover, the FCEI will collaborate with Sea-Watch and  Pilotes Volontaires, as well as still supporting the operations of the  Search and Rescue (SAR) by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms.

During the press conference to present these agreements, the former mayor of Riace, Mimmo Lucano, spoke about his experience. Once again Mr. Lucano reiterated that the strategies put in place at Riace were positive and replicable: «  Riace was not just a project, it was a community, an idea. This successful experiment was terminated using the squalid strategy of the mafias, which is to denigrate people. If it has been possible in Riace, it means that it will be possible everywhere. That’s why this model bothered. » Giorgia Linardi, spokesperson for Sea-Watch in Italy, wanted to underline the importance of the synergy put into action by signing these agreements: « At a time when we are under attack at sea this solidarity begins on land and in the air. Concretely, this means to support the Moonbird mission for aero reconnaissance and monitoring activities in the Mediterranean sea.  It is a practical and concrete partnership that formalizes and reinforces something that has been going on for some time. Today, this activity is more important than ever since the Mediterranean sea is not monitored and any problematic witness should be removed from there to hide what is occurring. »

Even  Riccardo Gatti, Head of the Open Arms, recalled the difficult moment for those who show solidarity at sea with the Search and Rescue missions: “Thank you for your help, for the presence, you are on the right side, you have chosen which side to stay with courage. Thanks also because, through the support of Moonbird and Colibrì, you will give us eyes from heaven to arrive first to help those who risk their lives.»

The collaboration plans were presented in a press conference on Thursday 20 December at the headquarters of the Italian National Press Federation (FNSI).

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