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Jesuits News Social Justice 30 years with the Rom. In Cosenza, the commitment of Circolo Popilia
Social Justice

30 years with the Rom. In Cosenza, the commitment of Circolo Popilia

“Being with, choosing to build meaningful relationships, meeting people, families” This is how Franca De Bonis, volunteer and co-founder of Circolo Polipia, describes her commitment since 1990 with the Rom.

“They presented to me an unexpected reality through which I let myself and still allow myself be challenged. I was attracted by their diversity which at first, I experienced with resistance and fatigue. I wanted to get to know these people; the Lord came to meet me through them. Encounters subsequently followed which are changing my life. We had gone out to change them. Our intentions were turned around”.

This experience springs to life through Fr Garau as he chooses to be with these people who are considered as outcasts. ‘We started by preparing them for the sacraments,’ Franca recalls. “When we realised how hard they were struggling culturally, we organised an after-school programme during the afternoon and animated workshops. During summer we also offer a summer camp which is open to families”. In a few days, the club will be celebrating Enzo’s achievement, a young Rom who grew up in the club and is now a volunteer. He will discuss his master’s thesis in the science of education. “My dream?” he confides, “That no child should be ashamed of being a Rom”.

“It began as an ethnic and cultural frontier and now has become a spiritual frontier,” Fr Renato Colizzi highlights. “We must accept to work for those realities that the Lord moves us to encounter”.

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