Sant’Egidio vaccination centre launched in the large spaces of the San Gallicano building in the heart of Trastevere. The procedure takes place amidst white coats and smiles in a happy and relaxed atmosphere. Many doctors, nurses and reception staff have volunteered to set up the first vaccine hub for people who would have been excluded from the immunisation campaign. They are homeless, or immigrants not yet regularised, or lonely elderly people who could not access the vaccine. (PHOTOGALLERY)
“The opening of this vaccination hub is to help the last ones,” Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community, clearly stated.
“There are still thousands of people who are living on the streets, who do not have a home. Many have not been reached by the vaccination campaign, but they can be reached by the network of contacts that Sant’Egidio has been building for years with the poor and in the outskirts. We don’t want to get used to people dying, that’s why we have opened this hub. Everything here is in the sign of gratuitousness! All the staff do it voluntarily and free of charge. We want to give the best to those who have nothing! Today our slogan is more life.”
The inauguration of the centre was attended by the Extraordinary Commissioner for the Covid-19 emergency, General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo: “We are all here in Sant’Egidio – he said – to leave no one behind and do something for those who are less fortunate than us. They have the same right to be vaccinated properly”. “There are doctors, nurses and health workers here who donate part of their free time for a cause and for the common good,’ he continued, explaining how care also extends to everyone’s daily life: ‘Those who are vaccinated here receive a leaflet with an emergency telephone number available 24h a day. A doctor is always ready to help people who would have no other way of making their voices heard”.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by representatives of the organisations cooperating on the project: the president of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca, Lazio Region councillor for health, Alessio D’Amato, the regional councillor for social services, Alessandra Troncarelli, and the director of the ASL Roma 1, Angelo Tanese.
The centre will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer and the following months.
The Community of Sant’Egidio is a lay Catholic association dedicated to social service, founded in 1968 under the leadership of Andrea Riccardi
In 1986 it received recognition from the Roman Curia of the Holy See as an international association of the faithful. Its activities include the Church’s evening prayer together daily as a stimulus for lending assistance to a whole spectrum of needy persons: “lonely and non-self-sufficient elderly, immigrants and homeless people, terminally ill and HIV/AIDS patients, children at risk of deviance and marginalization, nomads and the physically and mentally handicapped, drug addicts, victims of war, and prisoners.” The community also has a high profile in the area of peace negotiations, in addressing the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and in its opposition to capital punishment. It takes an ecumenical approach in all of its work.
Sant’Egidio is a network of small communities of fraternal life, currently present in 73 countries distributed as follows: Europe (23), Africa (29), Asia (7), North America (8), South America (5). There are an estimated 50,000 members.
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