Date: Monday, 03 September 2018
"We felt that we were welcomed thanks to the Pope and so we are confident that everything will be fine2. So said Josief Kesete, 25, talking to journalists at Casa Suraya, the reception center run by the Farsi Prossimo cooperative on behalf of Caritas Ambrosiana within the complex owned by the Institute of the Sisters of the Repair where he arrived yesterday at midnight with the other migrants (4 men and 4 women, all of Eritrean nationality), transferred from Rocca di Papa where they had been temporarily welcomed after the disembarkation by the Italian Coast Guard cruiser "Diciotti.
"In Libya, I boarded an old wooden boat with over 190 people. After two days and two nights of seafaring, we were rescued from the coast guard ship. On board the Italian crew treated us very well. But when we arrived at the port the captain told us that the government did not want us, "he explained.
Josief says he left Eritrea three years ago, to pay 5,000 euros to traffickers and to have suffered violence and torture and to have seen many of his comrades die.
"I've been lucky. Others were kidnapped and had to pay the ransom two or three times. Others did not have the money and did not make it, "he said.
"All 8 migrants will remain for the time being at Casa Suaraya where there are all conditions to make medical examinations and understand their expectations - explained Luciano Gualzetti, director of Caritas Ambrosiana. On the basis of their characteristics we will define the best destination: we have already identified apartments that are suitable for them within the diocesan system of diffuse reception. We are sure that they will find welcoming communities and operators able to accompany them in all needs, including legal requirements, but also subsequently to support them in the integration process, enhancing skills and competences. We are committed to ensuring that their integration is dignified for them but also positive for our communities ".
The director also specified that the costs of receiving new guests will be charged to the Church.
The 8 migrants arrived in Milan are part of a first group of 40 asylum seekers relocated from the "Mondo Migliore" center of Rocca di Papa in the other Italian dioceses. The other 60 will be transferred later. It is not excluded that among these others could still arrive in Milan. "We had given availability for 17 seats, we received 8 people, but our offer remains," said Gualzetti.