“Cesano Boscone is an Italian municipality of 23,970 habitants of the metropolitan city of Milan, in Lombardy.
The Institute Sacra Famiglia, a famous Institute dedicated to the care of thousands of mentally and physically disabled
is present in the municipality and it was founded in the beginnings of 1900 by Mgr Domenico Pogliani.”
This is what Wikipedia cites regarding the Institution that hosted us.
No one would ever imagine that the Foundation, described in these words would have changed us so much.
At the moment of departure – we were 20 adolescents – we knew that we have to “animate” elderly
and not so grave differently-abled persons, but we never thought that we would be overwhelmed every day
by different emotions so much that some of us remained without words or sometimes we had tears in the eyes.
Personally Laura writes…
On the first day I met an elderly man Angelo with a mild disability, who lives in that Institute for all his life; he has taught me
the importance of listening in order not to risk giving casual responses, without any sense.
On the second day I met Diego, Stefano e Giancarlo: Diego, an Italian-Spanish lad who is unable to speak
and with him I understood that one single smile can communicate more than thousand words.
Stefano, a young boy, has moved me with his cordial greeting “ciao”; yet another old man named Giancarlo
with a short-tempered character, welcomed us with this title “southerners” ( a welcome which we did not like),
but after dances, songs, games of olden times, such as how to say names, fruits and cities,
he has wished warmly recognizing us to be Italians!
On the third day, I encountered Renzo, who every morning, in spite of his disability, is working in the ward assigned to him.
He has taught me not to give up in front of difficulties and another girl of my age, Arianna, who does not speak
but communicates through physical contact, has made me to understand how important it is to communicate a caress.
After four days of reflections on existence, (what a kind of life it is to remain for 20 years on the wheel chair,
depending completely on others?), we have returned with a baggage full of emotions and above all formatively very rich.
The experience was for all of us a lesson of life.