United World Project


A Heart That Dances

19 March 2021   |   , Accoglienza Migranti,

The dream of going to Italy cultivated from an early age, the joy of having succeeded and then the constant effort of building a better life. Lamine twenty years old, after being a guest at Casa di Ismaele he got a job and lives in an apartment with two friends in Rogliano, Italy where “I have brought my heart.”

The town of Koungheul is located in the center of Senegal and has fifteen thousand inhabitants. Lamine arrived from Koungheul on July 13, 2017 when he was still a minor. Now that he is twenty, he is speaks Italian well, works, and lives in a house with two friends. He has integrated well.

Lamine’s journey actually began before 2017: “I wanted a change, to have a better life,” he says with a smile. So he left his parents and headed north, first to Mauritania, Algeria and then Libya. You had a specific plan to go to Italy, “I’ve dreamed of it since I was small.” The journey wasn’t easy, and he didn’t want to remember it. But when he landed in Calabria he thanked God for having granted him the realization of this dream. After a while, he moved into Ismaele’s House in Rogliano.

He was welcomed at this newly opened facility of the Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (SPRAR) where Unaccompanied Foreign Minors are hosted. Lamine is happy, “It’s become my family, there’s no more beautiful place.” He learn Italian: “When I landed I couldn’t even say hello.” He plays football with his friends and cooks: “I know how to make rice with fish very well.”

Then comes the time to start learning a job. He was an electrician in Senegal and became an electrician in Italy. The program at Casa di Ismaele, includes in the Making System Beyond Reception program and finding employment, thanks also to funds provided from the  Fondazione Con il SudImmigration Initiative, at the Solaretika Company which provides consulting, design and installation services: “I’m learning, I like the job, I feel great.” And he repeats it several times “great” as if to underline it with a marker. Thanks to the job that gave him independence, he left Casa di Ismaele and moved into an apartment with two other young men. But he spends most of his evenings at the SPRAR, even if only to drop by and say hello.

Last October Lamine returned to Senegal for a week A ten-hour flight and a hug with his mother whom he hadn’t seen for years. He had always been imagining that moment – “I dreamed at night of going home,” but unfortunately, the dream was shattered because he had to face his father’s death. “As soon as my Mum saw me she began to cry.” Lamine  couldn’t sleep for a couple of days. “She told me go to sleep, but I said I couldn’t because my heart is dancing.” When he got back by plane to resume his life in Italy, he promise to return again to Senegal “for a longer vacation.” Now Lamine’s heart is in Calabria, where he would like to start a family one day. But the real dream, the greatest dream of all, is to take my mother on a pilgrimage to Mecca.