Round Tables. A discussion with NHS stakeholders.

Palermo, March 2016
The New Pilgrims: from initial reception to integration, Sicily as a third path

For the exhibition "The new pilgrims. The historical and social impact of modern immigration on healthcare", the Regional Councillorship of the Family, Social Policies and Labour - Special Immigration Office of the Sicilian Region and Farmafactoring Foundation organised a round table on the theme of reception and integration into Sicilian life, showing how at the very moment when the many fleeing hatred, violence and hunger manage to reach our shores alive, their encounter with healthcare operators is not only a moment reserved for nursing care, but also for psychological relief.

At the very moment when the many fleeing hatred, violence and hunger manage to reach our shores alive, they meet the angels of medical care, nursing care, psychological relief.
How many times have photographs of a dramatic moment revealed the tragedy of an entire existence? And of men who, in a normal reality, would be considered "at their best", but who no longer have even the shadow of strength?

Yet it is the same tool, a camera, used with the heart of those who feel like they are participants and not mere spectators, that shows us the face of those who put forth an effort not only to help in matters related to health, but also smiles and solidarity in the meeting between migrants and our healthcare system.

Especially in Sicily, where for centuries we have been known to be "experts" in humanity, in tolerance, in hospitality. We have never looked at the colour of one's skin, their religion, the different culture or customs of those we have hosted. The initiative of Farmafactoring Foundation is truly commendable: through this ideal journey, it helps us discover the thousands of faces of a long history of suffering and also of fraternity, whether secular or Christian.

With a pause for those who did not make it and now finally rest, with their souls embraced by the arms of divine Mercy, their bodies in the charitable silence of the deep sea.