Ciao! From Lucy and Charlotte
Hello and welcome to our blog! We are Lucy and Charlotte and we will be embarking on an exciting adventure to a little town in Sicily called Scicli (pronounced Shee-kly) to work with the Italian charity- Mediterranean Hope. Mediterranean Hope was set up at the beginning of 2014 in response to the increasing number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea- especially with the 386 people who died a few miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013.
We will be volunteering in a project called the House of Cultures. This is a safe place, set up in December 2014, offering hospitality to refugees in a vulnerable situation, such as young mothers, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors. As well as education, social work and health care offered in the house, culture is celebrated with inter-cultural and integration programmes to encourage Italian citizens and guests at the house to adopt a culture of integration. The House of Cultures is involved with and supported by the local Methodist Church.
So that’s a bit about the project, no doubt you will learn more about it along with us! Now allow us to introduce ourselves.
Ciao, mi chiamo Lucy (…and that is about the extent of my Italian linguistic skills!) To introduce myself, I’m 20 years old, live in Kent and study Psychology at uni. I love coffee and ice cream, so Italy feels a very apt destination to be heading to! But the aspect that most excites me about this summer is the people I will get to meet. Living in such privilege, I find it difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend the horrific statistics and stories we hear on the news, as many just like us are being forced to uproot their lives as homes are lost to war, persecution, climate change and poverty. My hope for this experience is that it will be mutually transformational, in the sense that I will be able to contribute something towards making the people I meet feel loved and valued, and that coming to know and love them will, in turn, shape the way I live my own life. Jesus calls us to meet him not in glossy comfort but in raw vulnerable humanity. As a church, then, this is not something we can shy away from or ignore. Charlotte and I hope that, by sharing our experiences with you, we can all learn and engage with this together, growing to better reflect Christ as we meet with him. So stay tuned, we’re looking forward to sharing this adventure with you!
Ciao amici! (Hi friends!) I’m Charlotte, I’m 19 and I’m a Law student at Aberystwyth, originally from the Midlands. I’m so excited to be able to go to Sicily this summer to volunteer with Mediterranean Hope as I am passionate about helping people, making a difference and showing God’s love to the world. I am so privileged to have been born into a safe country where I haven’t had to put my life and money in the hands of people smugglers to make a better life for myself, so I feel the least I can do for these people is to be a listening ear and do something practical to give them a better experience. Aside from this amazing experience we will have, I am excited to be able to explore the town of Scicli and the surrounding area, enjoy the lovely weather and most of all eat as much ice-cream as I possibly can manage!- my aim is to try every flavour! (well why not?!!)!
Overall I hope and pray that this experience will be something that will open my eyes to to the reality of the refugee crisis and experience it first hand; and open the eyes of others by writing this blog with Lucy to share our experiences.
Arrivederci (bye for now!),
Lucy and Charlotte x