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Photo: (Felicittà)

Humanitarian support in Italy: ADRA partnering with FELICITTA’

Adventist volunteers helping the poor in the Umbria region during the pandemic.

Humanitarian support in Italy: ADRA partnering with FELICITTA’

Bern, Switzerland.EUDnews.

About 2 years ago, some Adventists, together with non-Adventists, committed and serious people, decided to set up an humanitarian agency, which they chose to call FELICITTA' (translated, HAPPY CITY). Their intention is to implement social projects in this centrally-located area of Italy. These people folks found a location at with a subsidized rent, worker friends who donated their time and their trade to do the work, and some donors who believed in the project.

The project consists of offering the citizens, the neighborhood, and the city an open place space for sharing and co-working. That location has become the headquarters of a number of several associations: some dealing with disabilities, others with music, others with health, services, etc. The Adventist organizations, ADRA Perugia, VITA E SALUTE and REACH ITALIA, were included in the FELICITTA' headquarters in order to provide a (free) place and a recognizable presence at the local level. From that moment on, ADRA activities were  transferred there; this 'also, because it would have been impossible to continue in the church as there are more than 200 people to serving and helpinge with packages and distribution'.

During the pandemic, ADRA has grown tremendously and has become well established in the area. Many people know ADRA and many offers to their help. "In the last few days, we have received a donation of 600 kg of (high quality) Grana Padano cheese and, a few weeks ago, more than 100 kg of top quality meat, not counting supermarket leftovers and the usual supplies provided monthly by the food bank and other associations", commented Marko Hromis, head of ADRA in Perugia and co-founder of the FELICITTA' agency. "ADRA has made itself well known and is credible and attentive to the needs in the area", continued Hromis. "ADRA is also specializing in the theme of widespread poverty, the recovery of food surpluses, zero waste and the virtuous circles of circular economy".

ADRA has, therefore, established a multi-layered collaboration between local relief and anti-poverty actors. "Like ADRA, we meet so many people and experience ‘crazy’ stories of people who really need help and assistance," Hromis testified.

Here are some of the stories:

There is a boy fellow who lives under a tin shack near the railway tracks; he is a middle-aged bricklayer, he who fell down and hitting his head, in at an illegal construction site, and he consequently had neuronal problems that lead him to have spend whole entire days in bed, without strength, with serious physical falls. ADRA volunteers helped him with social workers and, now, he has a small job that allows him to find a meaning in his life; and soon, he will also find accommodation. In the meantime, ADRA often brings him food and clothes.

There is also a building in which there are 5 families living below the poverty line, and every time ADRA volunteers arrive with aid, they all take to the streets and it's a big party; real friendships have been formed.

Recently, FELICITTA' launched an appeal to all citizens to donate food and make general donations as well. Many citizens responded and filled all the shelves. With all that food, so many people are have been helped in this critical time of COVID attack.

In recent times, FELICITTA' won a call for tenders and, with 4,000 euros, so they have been able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from local traders (at a reduced price), every month for 9 months, to ensure quality as well as non-perishable tinned canned food.

"In short, there is a huge need, and our energy is limited," concluded Hromis. "We keep getting endless requests for help! We live strong experiences, periodically touring the whole region of Umbria, and it's great because the citizens recognize the effort and make themselves available to us. There are lawyers, insurers, administrators, professionals, entrepreneurs, all ready to help, without asking anything in return; God has opened up unthinkable paths. But there is still a great need for help...and God always provides!"

To learn more about ADRA Italia's activities, please go here.