ROME, DECEMBER 28 – His name is Gandhi, her name is Madleen. A year ago she was in Raqqa, prisoner of Daesh militias, possibly foreign fighters. Today they are together in Rome: they have a baby on the way who will be born in Italy.
Gandhi and Madleen are Syrian refugees. They arrived in Italy thanks to the “humanitarian corridors”, a pilot project created by Sant’Egidio in collaboration with the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy and the Waldensian Church, which aims to avoid trips in barges – which have caused so many deaths, especially among children, prevent the exploitation of human traffickers who do business off those who flee from wars, and grant people in vulnerable conditions legal entry. The story of the young couple from Homs, as told by the Catholic daily Avvenire, is almost a miracle. Madleen, 26, was hostage of Isis for 174 days. Their baby will be born in Rome in two months.
Gandhi, who work as an electrician, and Madleen are both Christian-orthodox. She was freed, together with other three women fra Homs, after the payment of a ransom. A month later the couple was reunited in Beirut: “I was crazy with happiness. I would have lighten up the whole city”, the husband said.
The family is part of about 500 people, mostly from Syria but also from Iraq, allowed to arrive in Italy through the “humanitarian corridors”. The project foresees the arrival of a thousand people over two years. Once arrived in Italy, the refugees are welcomed by the associations who help hem to learn Italian and assist them in their search for a job.
Humanitarian corridors are financed entirely by the associations that have promoted them. Otto per Mille of the Waldensian Church, Tennis with Stars, and other fundraising initiatives have contributed greatly to the program. Humanitarian Corridors are also financed by the generosity of members of the organizations and others. (@OnuItalia)