The Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) is engaging directly in humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean Sea

Starting from today, Mediterranean Hope (MH) operators will be on board the tugboat Proactiva Open Arms

Disegno di Francesco Piobbichi

Rome (NEV), March 8th, 2018 – The Open Arms tugboat, which belongs to the Proactiva NGO, set off at noon from Malta with operators from Mediterranean Hope, the FCEI’s Refugees and Migrants Programme.  Over the next fortnight, our operators will participate in rescue operations to save migrants trying to reach Italy.  “This humanitarian intervention demonstrates that the range of activities undertaken by the FCEI in the field of migration is growing – and shows concrete support for those who work to save lives,” commented Paolo Naso, coordinator of the MH project.

In a mission that has just ended Proactiva Open Arms rescued over 600 refugees, and over a thousand people were rescued during the previous mission, sadly blighted by the death of two children. “These facts demonstrate the professionalism of the operators of this NGO.  This professionalism, together with management transparency and relationships forged with our Observatory on Lampedusa, has been the basis of our decision to work with Proactiva.   In addtion, Proactiva has signed an intervention protocol which ensures that its missions are lawful and fight against human trafficking,” said Mr Naso.  One of the MH operators will be responsible for cooking,  while Francesco Piobbichi, as well as participating in rescue operations, will continue producing “drawings from the border”.  The first collection of drawings, inspired by experiences on Lampedusa and in Lebanon managing “humanitarian corridors” has already been published by Claudiana in Italian and English. The book is available in many European countries, and various organisations and schools have arranged exhibitions of “Drawings from the Border” during which it has been possible to present the Mediterranean Hope project and share what the FCEI is doing to support migrants and refugees.