This Christmas marks the end of a year that has been difficult for everyone and painful for many. But there are sections of the population for whom the problems caused by the pandemic have had even more tragic outcomes.
These are the extremely vulnerable people who fear not so much just the risk of infection, but, far more often, the sense of loneliness and abandonment, as well as the loss of the little help they could rely on ‘before all this’.
‘Damn, all this staying at home is getting me down… I feel like I’m in prison!’ is one refrain repeatedly spoken and heard throughout lockdown and in response to every new restriction on our freedom of movement. (We confess to having said the same thing ourselves.)
But these are phrases that would sound mocking and disrespectful to the ears of those who have no home – no refuge or well-loved place of comfort – to go to.
In this sense, we were lucky (yes, lucky!) to accidentally come across Binario 95 and the work of its members, who help homeless people sleeping rough near the Termini rail station in Rome.
This is a universe in which lives may either always have been problematic, or may have met with sudden collapse.
So, we decided to support Binario 95 in a specific initiative that we regard as both valuable and admirable: the Emergenza Covid-19 project, which, by coincidence, carries this hashtag, as simple as it is effective: #vorreirestareacasa – or ‘I would like to stay at home – if I had one.’
There’s no need for us explain in detail what Binario 95 does and what its needs are – simply follow the links above and you’ll get a very clear idea.
For us, what we read there was easily enough for us to decide to donate the entire yearly amount we usually set aside for Christmas greetings and gifts. Our way, perhaps, of feeling some of the ‘comfort and joy’ of the season (c’mon, you have to – it’s Christmas, isn’t it?) but in all honesty (and most importantly) of fulfilling our wish to be ‘genuinely useful’ in supporting a small – but great – project on local soil.
And so too have we chosen to dedicate the reflections in this blog to the Emergenza Covid-19 initiative, in order to strengthen this support with our additional contribution – be it ever so humble – of well-deserved visibility for the cause (rather than writing about communication, as we usually do!)
A big thank you to Binario 95 and best wishes to all.