MIGRATION OBSERVATORY IN LAMPEDUSA
Mediterranean Hope (MH) - Refugee and Migrant Programme of the Federation of Protestant
churches in Italy (FCEI), was established in the aftermath of the shipwreck on 3 October 2013
when 368 people died a few miles from the island of Lampedusa. The decision to establish a
permanent Observatory on ì Migration on Lampedusa stems from awareness of the
geopolitical and symbolic significance of the island for a phenomenon such as migration
which has global scope .
Mediterranean Hope, together with the Forum Lampedusa Solidale, is engaged in providing the very first welcome to those who land on the island: a hot drink, something to eat, a thermal blanket, a word of welcome. Thousands of people have been arriving and transiting Lampedusa for years (about 40,000 in 2022): they include men, women, boys and girls fleeing war, persecution, climate change, violence and discrimination. Those who manage to land on the island are among the luckiest: many other people die and disappear in the Mediterranean Sea (more than 25,000 between 2014 and 2022 - IOM data) or are forcibly returned to the places from which they fled. All should be guaranteed the chance to leave via safe and legal routes, be hosted in a dignified way as well as to be rescued at sea. This is why Mediterranean Hope supports the work and commitment of NGOs involved in sea rescue, in an ongoing partnership with these humanitarian bodies .
Mediterranean Hope in Lampedusa has always been committed to building relationships with different local bodies in the area, supporting solidarity practices promoted by civil society. MH cooperates with the local community on social, cultural, educational and sustainable initiatives. In term’s of the project's vision, service to other people is not secondary to the Federation's Protestant and Christian identity but is considered a fundamental element of its confession of faith. MH in Lampedusa has built a close ecumenical partnership with the local Catholic community. The ecumenical dimension and dialogue with people of different faiths and religious denominations is evident every year in the organization of the commemoration in memory of the victims of October 3, 2013. .
*The Forum Lampedusa Solidale was established in 2015 through the meeting of associations, church movements, voluntary organizations, parishioners, women and men from civil society willing to commit themselves to the realization of an alternative model of reception and solidarity. Activities carried out by the Forum are not limited to the distribution of goods to migrant people who land on the island; rather, it aims to network ideas and skills that can provide concrete responses to the needs of the local community and the people who cross it.