“We must protect the lives of the 40 Ukrainian children hosted in San Martino al Cimino”

Rights – The appeal is from the president of the Italian Human Connections association, Giulia Marchetti – The transfer of refugees to Cas di Viterbo has been postponed again

by Daniele Camilli

Viterbo – “We must protect the life and development of the 40 Ukrainian children housed in the San Martino al Cimino facility”. The appeal comes from the chairman of the association Italian Human Relations East, Giulia Marchetti. An appeal addressed to all institutions and associations in the area to find as soon as possible “an agreement compatible with the lives of the children who found refuge from the war in Ukraine in San Martino”.

“For the defense of the emotional development of children who are still in the character formation phase – emphasizes Marchetti – the structure of San Martino has represented the possibility of mitigating an important trauma like war. Moving them to the reception center in Viterbo can cause a further break in the lives of these children , change their future prospects, without giving them the possibility of continuity, at this moment, which is fundamental to them.”

Viterbo - The party with the Ukrainian community organized in the structure of San Martino

Viterbo – The party with the Ukrainian community organized in the structure of San Martino

The story is well known. About eighty people who have come away from the war in Ukraine and the Russian invasion live in a structure in San Martino. Half of them are children, the rest mothers and the elderly. Teachers, public servants, professionals. They arrived in Italy and landed in Viterbo immediately after the outbreak of the conflict. In the beginning the race for solidarity. After that, no more. In fact, as the director of Caritas Luca Zoncheddu has already pointed out in an interview with Tusciaweb, it seems that many who had made available their home by the sea or a bedroom in their apartment are returning everything. Also thanks for the summer season.

President Giulia Marchetti

Giulia Marchetti

About ten days ago, the additional cold shower. The decision to move the Ukrainian refugees from the San Martino facility to Cas di Viterbo. A week ago, the Ukrainian community protested in the city square with the request to the prefecture to cancel the provision and the decision not to board the buses that should have arrived in San Martino the day before yesterday to take everyone to Viterbo. Buses that did not arrive the day before yesterday. And they would not have arrived because there would be an exchange of views between the Ukrainian society, the prefecture and the civil protection to reach an agreement compatible with the lives of the forty children, of course without separating them from mothers and loved ones.

“We don’t want to go to the center of Viterbo – said the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian community Oksana Chyzhovych – because the living conditions would be deeply incompatible with the children’s and add trauma to trauma. There, the children suddenly changed from an open to a closed space. They would have to to change schools and completely change not only habits but also nutrition. Even the climatic conditions inside the CAS can be critical for a child”.

Viterbo - The protest in Piazza del Comune

Viterbo – The protest of the Ukrainian community in Piazza del Comune

“I met the Ukrainian community – says Marchetti – because the headquarters of my association is in the same structure. I got to know the children and we organized a party for them at the end of July. To help us were the same residents of San Martino and one of my friends from Cerveteri. In the end a snack came out. A day of celebration with the intervention of the department clowns. We started at 15:00 and ended at 19:00, dancing and sharing games. Involves children. The community of San Martino has also raised funds to support Ukrainian refugees and is organizing a solidarity concert”.

The same structure that hosts them would have given its will to continue until the end of the year. Availability that would have been clear from the start, allowing people to choose to stay. People, knowing that they had to leave in August instead of December, could have chosen other solutions.

Viterbo - The party with the Ukrainian community organized in the structure of San Martino

Viterbo – The party with the Ukrainian community organized in the structure of San Martino

“The children and young people – continues Marchetti – who are now in San Martino are between three and 17 years old. These are young children and young people who have already had a huge break in their lives, and here in San Martino they have found an oasis that gives them the opportunity to face the tragedy they are experiencing. And we are not talking about holidays, but about children leading a child’s life”. Some of them would also have already been enrolled in San Martino’s schools.

“At the moment the passage from San Martino to Viterbo has not happened”, Giulia Marchetti has already said. And even yesterday, Tuesday, no one was seen. “Our invitation – concluded Marchetti – is in any case to take the bus wherever they arrive. An invitation accompanied by an appeal to all associations and institutions in the area, including the mayor of Viterbo Chiara Frontini, to network to find a solution compatible with children’s needs and lives”.

Daniele Camilli

– Chyzhovych: “Ukrainian refugees, no transfer from San Martino to the reception center…”

3 August 2022

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