Migrants gain legal status in Italy, dream of better future

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Migrants at the Casa Cernuta farm in Ciminna, 40 kilometres south of Palermo, behave like normal young men, smiling and joking as they tend crops. It is hard to

Migrants gain legal status in Italy, dream of better future

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)

Migrants at the Casa Cernuta farm in Ciminna, 40 kilometres south of Palermo, behave like normal young men, smiling and joking as they tend crops.

It is hard to imagine the horrors they have had to face over the last few years in order to fulfill their dreams and get to Italy.

But thanks to an integration programme at a farm, run by Caritas Palermo, they now have a chance to begin their first steps to a new life.

The centre is normally home to up to 18 people but recently it’s numbers have been boosted by the massive influx of new arrivals.

But the eight male migrants who arrived in June 15, 2014, have now been granted legal status by local authorities in the hope they will soon find work and free up spaces for those who may be more in need.

Talking about how he originally got on a boat in Libya, 22-year-old Tommaso from Mali, who is using an alias, said:

“There were 120 people (on our boat) without food and water. We left in the morning and all the day like this and I remember when we reached six o’clock at night nearly seven, we had only 20 litres of petrol left. We didn’t know what to do next. We were in the Mediterranean, many people cried. We were going to die today.”

Pablo, also using an alias, arrived the same day as Tommaso on his eighteenth birthday. He spent a year in Libya before getting on a ship heading to Sicily. He received his first temporary permit of stay on Tuesday (April 21) meaning he can now try and find a job and move on.

“When I came to this country, to Italy, we went through the desert first and many died there,” Pablo explained.

“Trucks tipped over and many died. Also in Libya, Libya is very dangerous. When you get to Libya you can die today or maybe tomorrow,” he said.

“Then the sea, that is dangerous, when the ships capsize everyone dies,” he explained.

Tommaso remembered the moment they were rescued.

“Thank God we saw a light a long way away. It was a light of a big ship. We said we have to go to that ship. If they hit us and we fall into the sea that is God’s will but we have to go there. We went there and as soon as we were close to this ship they came to us with many things. They said “calm down, calm down. You need to be more quiet. There are no more problems for you.” Then we understood we had made it, we had found an Italian ship,” he said.

Pablo says there now is some hope.

“My dream, my first dream is to play football. My second is to find a job, when I find a job, I will really work.”

Tags : future, better, dream, italy, Status, legal, gain, migrants

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