On Saturday, March 4, in the Ciaurro de Terni Park ( Italy ), a peace information panel (an artistic work) created by Ukrainian children attending the center Emporio Bimbi emporium of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, together with children of other nationalities and Vincentian youth.
The panel, fruit of the project “Free to dream, free to grow” is a double-sided metal structure of 180×120 cm, with the design of the outline of the map of Ukraine on which ceramic tiles have been arranged, in tribute to the welcome received by small children refugees and their mothers in Terni, and, above all, in memory of all child victims of wars and violence.
The project is framed in the “Collaboration pact with the Terni City Council” and in the context of the events of Valentine’s Day 2023: “Valentine, witness of love”, and was carried out with the commitment of the business enterprise, Marò ceramiche (Terni).
The inauguration was attended by: Bishop Francesco Antonio Soddu, Mr. Leonardo Latini (Mayor of Terni), Christian Ceccotti (Welfare Councilor), Roberto Reale (President of the Terni Central Council of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul), Antonella Catanzani (coordinator of the Bimbi emporium), Monica Galdo (member of the Executive Council of the Italian National Federation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul), the actor Majo Stefano (who held a performance on “Valentine witness of peace and love”) and Adriano Marinensi (gave a testimony about World War II in Terni). The event was enriched with songs and dances from various nations as well as games and workshops for children.
Antonella Catanzani, the coordinator of the Emporio Bimbi, stated: In March of last year, with the arrival of Ukrainian families fleeing the war (mainly, mothers with children), the conferences of the Terni Central Council of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (from the project Bimbi emporium as well as from the different conferences present in the territory of the diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia), acted quickly to provide material and emotional support to families who were burdened with the weight of the war, having left their loved ones thousands of miles away. All the children who came to Emporium experienced a certain sense of relief. The walls of the facility are brightly colored, there were many games and a favorable environment for educational activities. The presence of other colleagues of various nationalities was an incentive to attend, to make new friends and to learn new things. Thus came the idea of a ceramic painting workshop, intended to make tiles created and painted by Ukrainian children. Working with clay (from Ukraine) made the children feel close to their homeland and encouraged the other participants in the project.
Bimbi emporium, in the context of the Ukrainian emergency situation, assisted 117 refugee children (from 1 to 14 years old ) and today continues to welcome many of these children, offering them a space where they can socialize, express themselves, share games, snacks, experiences, draw and express their feelings.
About Emporio Bimbi
On Tuesday September 27, 2016, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul de Terni inaugurated the Emporio Bimbi Center, a space that serves to provide essential services that are often lacking in homes: from food to diapers to school supplies. In other words, the center provides food, personal hygiene, school supplies, clothing, toys and equipment for early childhood.
Its objective is threefold: not only to give material help, but also to mitigate social inequalities among children. It is also intended to offer children with an educational opportunity. We continue to hope that those who have much will continue to share with the less fortunate.
In addition to the distribution various elements, there is also a toy library service and we provide help with homework and other specific activities. The children of the volunteers also participate in the activities of the center. They are the first mediators to create friendly relationships between participating children, and the first to join the proposed activities, in accordance with the spirit of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, who aims to start a big family with the people that are served.