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There are people who see it as a light that gives a bit of hope in a closed and selfish world, but there are also people who describe it as an opprobrium which spoils the district, with that mob of desperate people who are asking for something. Carrying on the initiative “a tent against the crisis” is not easy. Having to juggle between the objective difficulty to find resources and the subjective contempt shown by many people who are wrapped in their own problems, towards the difficulties of the others.

Yet in the square in front of the Parish Church of Don Bosco, Rome, it is possible to work a little miracle: from the activities of the clinic of street medicine, opened in 2008 by Antonio Calabrò, the doctor and founder of the association ‘‘Share’’, three years ago was born the project of the “tent against the crisis”. More than that: over the time, they have managed to open a window for work, one for the right to reside and another one to contrast violence against women, as well as a school project for refugees where they can attend recognized courses of Italian. Many ideas born under one sole tent, that of sharing: all members of the volunteering team have been “born” from the oratory of the Church.

The medical center ensures the presence of psychologists, social doctors, a dentist with his camper, speech therapists; they lend their service for free and they all come from the Tor Vergata Polyclinic. All those people who cannot afford health care and basic care can ask for their help.

This year has been activated a popular self-managing canteen where from Thursday to Sunday, those who need it, have been able to eat for free. It is not only open to the homeless, but also to all those people or families which because of the crisis or lost jobs do not manage to put a meal on the table every day. The project is entirely self-managed and does not receive any funding neither from the State nor from the municipality, but lives and survives thanks to the generosity of the volunteers and that of the inhabitants of the district and their desire to share.

The project sees also to the distribution of food parcels. “The collection of food is  supported also by a network of citizens, friends, shopkeepers and inhabitants of the district who have understood the importance of the project and have chosen to help us with what they can,” one of the activists says.

Some people donate food cans, bottles of water, vegetables or fruits, basically things needed to put on the table a lunch worth the name. Furthermore, non-perishable food items that arrive to the tent, are used to prepare food parcels to be distributed to those who need them, which is not going to end with the conclusion of the Christmas period.

To keep such a reality alive, coordination between the many realities on the territory is needed, including Asia Usb and the social centers Spartacus, Cortocircuito e Scup, la Casa delle donne ‘‘Lucha y Siesta’’, the Cinest association, the Agency for the rights of the VII Town Hall and the numerous neighborhood committees. It is a concrete way of giving body to an abstract concept: solidarity.

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