For nearly 30 years, the poor in Palermo have been able to count on the vital help of a group of missioners who, together with 400 volunteers, provide assistance to the Sicilian capital's most disadvantaged.
It all started in 1991 under the arches of the Central Station in Palermo, a thoroughfare for travellers but also a gathering point for all those going nowhere, basically because they've got no place to go.
The Mission of Hope and Charity team consists of the lay missioner Biagio Conte, Don Pino, Brother Giovanni, Sister Mattia, Sister Alessandra and Sister Lucia, and a whole host of volunteers who offer their endless services to take care of over 800 people. The homeless, alcoholics, individuals who've lived a life of crime, prostitutes, asylum-seekers and immigrants are all welcomed into the mission's three communities, two of which are for men and one for women and mothers.
The work of the missioners and volunteers also extends to poor, sick and disabled people. This work goes beyond just offering assistance, as it also includes providing rehabilitation and training.
Our material support to the Mission of Hope and Charity comes in the form of internal upgrades to the building at via Archirafi 31 in Palermo: an abandoned and converted former council building. Here people with significant difficulties are cared for, i.e. those requiring nursing assistance due to chronic disease or a physical or mental disability. More specifically, the contribution involves purchasing and installing bed lifts as well as a lift in the building.
The Mission also attempts to rehabilitate chronic alcoholics, with addiction treatment programmes that include handcraft and agricultural activities, the latter of which is conducted on an area of land outside Palermo. In order to support these activities we provided funds for buying seeds, equipment and machinery. Not only that, we also financed a series of structural enhancements aimed at improving the farm's facilities, including renovating the roof on the storage and warehousing area where the products are stored and processed, completing the installations to improve energy efficiency and building a roof for the poor people's hospital.
Association: Missione di Speranza e Carità Onlus
Contribution: 350,000 euros