ResQ in Trieste and the Balkan Route
If Mediterranean Sea is the world’s deadliest border, the land routes leading to Europe are no less violent and dramatic for the men, women and children who try to cross them. It is to safeguard human rights and dignity, on land as well as at sea, that ResQ’s volunteers started working in Trieste, in support of ICS – Consorzio Italiano di Solidarietà and the other organizations that have been engaged for years on the Balkan Route.
Since years, ICS Consorzio Italiano di Solidarietà has been working in a network with many other organisations on the field to assist the survivors of the Balkan Route. We decided to engage ResQ volunteers in support of this network – so as not to waste time and to make help more effective.
In Piazza della Libertà, every night, Lorena Fornasir and Linea d’Ombra welcome those who arrive and offer the first treatment for the wounds of the journey. The map of this route is etched on the bodies of those who cross it.
During the summer, when the arrivals reach their peak, the Government’s reception system is totally inadequate to meet the needs. Those who cannot find a place for the night remain on the streets or end up in the abandoned silos – precarious, dangerous conditions far away from basic human dignity.
“They often arrive at night, go to the station and hang around, because they hope to leave in a few hours”. Here is the Day Centre: where you can stay warm, find clothes and food, find clothes, basic Italian lessons, as well as a legal desk to know your rights, receive assistance on asylum applications, possibly report abuse suffered during the journey.
That’s why ResQ’s volunteers are in Trieste: together with ICS, DONK, Linea d’Ombra and the other entities engaged in the area, we offer direct assistance at the Day Center, the medical clinic open every afternoon from Monday to Friday, and as part of work in the streets or wherever is needed. Food, blankets, health or legal assistance, cultural mediation: on land as on sea, we try to safeguard the rights and dignity of all.
A. has a badly swollen foot, the wounds are purulent, needing a strong antibiotic. He says he’s been walking a lot, from Pakistan to Trieste, but what we are watching now it’s because of the last eight days: barefoot, on the border between Croatia and Slovenia, the mud has infected his sores. After the bandages and the antibiotics, we hand him also a cup of tea, and a new pair of shoes.
L. is 26 years old and has a disfigured arm: ‘It was the police dogs on the Turkish-Greek border. They hurt me a lot’. M., 23 years old, has his eyes wide open on the hospital bed. He left Afghanistan, walked for months to get to Italy with a constant companion, a terrible pain in his chest. But today the doctor reassures him, it is nothing serious. Maybe just fatigue: he has been through hell.
Join us in Trieste, to practice human rights and safeguard the dignity of men, women and children. Donate to support the work of our volunteers, or decide to commit yourself in the field for two or more weeks.