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Emergency, We have celebrated our first 25 years: a milestone that encourages a balance, but also reflections on the future

the MILAN - From that date in may 1994 when a group of friends decided to commit themselves to bring medical assistance to the victims of war and landmines –

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Emergency, We have celebrated our first 25 years: a milestone that encourages a balance, but also reflections on the future
the MILAN - From that date in may 1994 when a group of friends decided to commit themselves to bring medical assistance to the victims of war and landmines – one of them, Gino Strada, she had known from near – many things have happened. More than 10 million people have had access to free medical care and quality, from Rwanda to Cambodia, from Afghanistan to Sudan, up to the suburbs of Italian cities. Thousands of doctors, nurses, technicians, cooks, gardeners have been trained by qualified personnel, in appropriate facilities, by becoming promoters of the development of their communities. Hundreds of thousands of students all over Italy have been involved in peace education projects and have come close to the reality that they would not have experienced otherwise. Millions of people have expressed their refusal to live in a world in which the war, its tools and its logic is inescapable.

“Choose not to look the other way” . And this is what has characterized our way in all these years. EMERGENCY is first and foremost a project that brings together those who are convinced that we are all born equal in dignity and rights, and that it is the responsibility of each one to make sure that this equality is practiced. The staff that part in the mission, the colleagues in Italy, the committed volunteers on the territory, the retiree contributes the “how can”, the teacher reads Green Parrots his class, the artist who puts us face it, the guy “anonymous” that links to your backpack a shred of peace, all of you who support us. Each has made possible this amazing experience.

The rebuilding of the walls. The results achieved in these years are not only a source of satisfaction. They are an incentive to look to the present and to the future with a clear determination to do more and more, and getting better and better. Twenty-five years ago, the world rejoiced at the fall of walls, physical and ideological, and imagined a global co-existence based on rights and shared values. Today, however, we witness a regression that pushes more and more people to cling obstinately to their privileges, to attack and hate everything that is different, to deny the universal principle that a life is in danger go, be saved, quit, in their own fortresses – more and more claustrophobic – raising new walls.

But the walls are also an opportunity. and Yet, we know that this drift is not inevitable, that there is “the wall” and “wall”. The walls are not just barriers that close off, divide, block. The walls can be a guarantee of protection and safety, such as the white walls of our hospitals in Afghanistan, exhausted by the war; the walls can be the opportunity for a new beginning, as those of the Centre of rehabilitation and social reintegration of Sulaimaniya that seeks to remedy the long-term consequences of the war; the walls can become a synonym of dignity and equality, such as those of the Centre of the Salam cardiac surgery in Sudan, where patients from dozens of different Countries, sometimes at war among themselves, they find themselves side by side in a hospital that provides them with free medical care and quality, simply because it is their right.

opening of the surgical centre in Uganda. Then there is a wall of red earth, designed by the sensitivity of a great architect and built thanks to the commitment of competent professionals and companies on the cutting edge: it is the wall of the new Center of excellence in pediatric surgery, Entebbe, Uganda, which in a few months will open the door to treat children from all over Africa. Not only a children's hospital, but a tangible symbol of cooperation, the development and real alternative to the injustices and poverty.

The path that we want to continue. Is on this road that we want to continue to engage in, with the hope of being able to count on the participation of many fellow travelers. We want to continue to be builders of peace, doing in practice the fundamental right to care; we want to continue to strengthen – through our witness – the growth of a citizenship that is aware and engaged; we want to continue believing that a better world is possible, not only necessary.

* Rossella Miccio, chairman of the Emergency

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