Turin (Italy). The situation of conflict that puts the Ukrainian people to the test affects the whole world and does not leave young people indifferent. They do not hesitate to show their generosity and readiness to serve.
Students of the Second Year Secondary School Mary Help of Christians (Maux) of Turin, of Mary Help of Christians Province (IPI), explored the events in class with the teachers and listened to the testimony of a Ukrainian girl. As a concrete gesture, they joined the initiative of Sermig, the Youth Missionary Service founded by Ernesto Olivero, which collects basic necessities at the Arsenal of Peace in Turin to support Ukrainian refugees.
The testimony of two female students:
In “Fratelli Tutti” Pope Francis emphasizes that in our common home we all live as one family and proposes concrete actions to repair the world and overcome the problems generated by the political crisis. The work of peace will not be possible if nations and peoples continue to fight each other. It is fundamental that there be dialogue, so that each one finds their own completeness in the other. It is therefore necessary to eliminate the globalization of indifference and promote social inclusion.
“Fratelli Tutti,” wrote St. Francis of Assisi to address all the brothers and sisters and offer them a form of life with the flavor of the Gospel. Here he declares blessed the one who loves the other “when far away as well as when close”. With these few simple words, he explained the essence of an open fraternity, which makes it possible to recognize, appreciate, and love every person beyond physical proximity, beyond the place in the world where they were born or where they live.
Among his counsels, it is the Pope’s concern to highlight one, in which he invites a love that goes beyond the barriers of geography and space. Thus, we young people from Maux have decided to put the Pope’s words into practice, making our support felt through concrete and useful gestures.
As a school, we have joined a Sermig initiative for the collection of basic necessities for refugees from Ukraine in need of help. Every Thursday, each of us made a commitment to bring food and blankets, to be sent to refugees through this Association. In turn, some high school classes helped in sorting and organizing the transport of bags and boxes full of these goods.
It was touching to see how people of different ages and classes have collaborated, putting all their efforts towards a common goal: to help all those affected by this unjust and unexpected conflict.
Some of us have lived this experience directly, seeing the life of our peers close to us upset in a drastic and sudden way. It seems surreal how children of our age find themselves from one day to the next taking up arms, fighting, suddenly becoming adults. And to think that until the day before they went to school and led a more than normal life, just like ours.
Every day we are struck by hundreds of news items that are so distant as to seem unreal. We perceive them as if we were spectators of our own life. Now for the first time, we live everything in the first person, with awareness. As students, we are committed to giving the maximum contribution with empathy and concreteness, trying to identify with the suffering of the Ukrainian people. With a few simple gestures, the Community of Maux has tried to become a peacemaker again, at a time when war threatens to extinguish our hopes.
«Those who forget their past are destined to relive it» (Primo Levi).