In the first two weeks of the war in Ukraine, Italy welcomed more than 26,000 refugees. Some are on their way to Rome. To help meet their needs, the organizations like Salvamamme are spearheading initiatives like this one. Salvamamme is an NGO founded by the Romanian community in Rome. They are sending food and medicine to their Ukrainian neighbors while preparing to host refugees.
President of Salvamamme
“Romanians have given their heart and soul. Elderly people who receive very little pension money would show up with gallons of milk to donate. All the support from businesses and individuals has been incredible.”
Small business owners throughout the city want to do their part to help the cause. Like these bakers.
“I think bread is a food that represents community, family and warmth. It is the food of the people. So the least we can do as bakers, who have been making bread for more than 100 years, is to give it to people who don't have it.”
One of the secrets to this project's success is the support of local politicians, who are working closely with Salvamamme.
President, District XI of Rome
“This is a moment of great solidarity. Our district has managed to launch an extraordinary supply drive. One of our headquarters is collecting food to send to Ukraine. Around us is a huge network of associations that helps carry Salvamamme's tremendous work forward.”
But it isn't just about sending food. Rome's 11th district is already preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees. And they are asking locals to lend a hand.
Social Political Advisor, District XI of Rome
“We are creating a list to match people who arrive with host families. We've set in motion the entire welcoming system. It's especially geared toward giving children the opportunity to attend school and continue to socialize.”
It's a joint effort of solidarity, one which shows what normal people are capable of when a neighbor in need comes knocking at their door.