15th April 2020 – Solidarity is growing in Scicli, Ragusa. The House of Many Cultures, run by FCEI through its refugee and migrant programme, Mediterranean Hope, is active and taking part in all those projects which, at this moment of health and financial difficulties arising from the lockdown, seek to help the most vulnerable. Two worth highlighting are the most recent projects: “Solidarity is Contagious” – about which a representative provides more detail below – and “Trolley on Hold”.
In respect of the latter, together with the Lions Club Scicli Plaga Iblea, the House of Many Cultures is collecting basic necessities to provide shopping support to families who are currently experiencing financial difficulty. These “supportive shopping bags” can be obtained by way of telephone appointment on 00 39 329 180 3952, at the MH office at Casa delle Culture in Corso Mazzini, Scicli.
“Solidarity is Contagious” is another project targeting less affluent people, a collaboration between various local organisations, specifically: Casa delle Donne – Scicli, MH – Casa delle Culture, Auser Scicli, SEM Scicli, Prismart, Opera Diaconale Metodista Scicli. The overall objective is to raise money and to help anyone in need.
Federica Schembri, president of Casa delle Donne, explains how the idea came about and what it entails: “In recent days, confined within our homes, we have felt powerless to tackle the many problems facing those who are outside working, providing essential services and the neediest with care and help. We are also thinking about those who have lost their jobs, cannot work or put bread on the table. What can we do for them from our homes? That’s how the idea of fund-raising came about. There are two specific aims:
– First, the provision of masks to be distributed by agreement with social services to workers most exposed to members of the public and, thereby, to contagion.
– Second, fund-raising for shopping vouchers for needy families for basic necessities.
After much research, we found a Sicilian company (atelier Siculo di Aci Sant’ Antonio) which, in light of the emergency, had decided to convert its clothing operation from one of tailoring to producing masks. The first funds raised allowed us to buy 500 and give them to the Vigili Urbani (community police officers), to agricultural businesses, care homes, blue-collar workers, and immune-compromised people reached through our network of contacts.
We await a new batch shortly to enable us to continue to distribute mask to whoever needs them. They are TNT masks, certified as surgical. Meantime, we have “infected” another group of people: some months ago, the Casa delle Donne in Scicli put on a sewing course, targeted at unemployed women and run by two volunteers. The course ran until the beginning of March at the House of Many Cultures. Our aspiring seamstresses have sewn around 100 white, cotton masks, washable at a high temperature and therefore reusable. These masks have also been distributed. Some days ago we began distributing shopping vouchers for basic necessities, medecines, toiletries and other items.
Within the space of ten days, we have raised €3,000, thanks to individual citizens and also numerous local organisations such as Tecne99, Tanit Scicli, cooperatives such as B AGIRE, the University of the Third Age, “Pieri Pieri pi Scicli” Walkers and many others”.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Scicli fund can do so directly by contacting one of the organisations involved or by way of bank transfer to
Associazione Culturale S.E.M.
BIC/SWIFT: BCITITMM presso Banca Intesa Sanpaolo
REFERENCE: voluntary contribution Covid-19 Emergency