In Sardinia, Our Welcome is Your Home

25 July 2022

The “Sarrabus Domu Mia project, which is committed to strengthening the community through volunteer work, has also responded to the Ukrainian emergency that began in February as a result of the ongoing conflict. The project, based in Muravera, a small town in southern Sardinia with just over 5,000 inhabitants, has opened the doors of its community hub to Ukrainian refugees by offering space where they could feel at home. 

Then again, “Domu mia,” a center where the local community meets to discuss and redevelop the Sarrabus area (a region in south-eastern Sardinia), means precisely “my home,” hence a place of peace and relief, a place of togetherness. 

In a remote setting like the small Sardinian town, the reception given by the Sarrabus Domu Mia project is a testament to the invaluable role of volunteerism in emergency situations, and it is an important demonstration of how solidarity can unite communities by breaking down any barriers and distances

Below are testimonies by volunteers engaged in the reception of the refugees as part of the project launched by some associations in partnership with different local municipalities, and supported by the Fondazione CON IL SUD

The volunteers who are participating in this call for solidarity have given themselves the goal of offering Ukrainians arriving from a stormy sea, not a deserted island mirage of hope, but rather an island of a would-be home, a safe harbor in which to refuel, providing the refugees with material and immaterial means to sail again in calm waters towards a new future, steeped in peace.

Our mission has been to create cooperation and to go beyond the selfie trend tags #Ukrainianemergency typical of the early days of the crisis; to be consistently and continuously present with targeted actions of inclusion, participation, and involvement of everyone, including Ukrainians.

From delivering essential supplies, food, and clothing to the host communities in the area around Cagliari, we have come to provide constant support to the refugees in the town of Sarrabus Gerrei. To date, there are about 40 Ukrainian refugees in the area, many of whom, because of the short distances,  are active within the community life of Domu mia.

Community interpreters and cultural volunteers have become indispensable figures in meeting the needs of individual Ukrainians and their families, and their crucial contributions and roles have soon transformed into those of reference and support, by becoming animators, educators, psychologists, coordinators, and integration assistants.

A close-knit network has been created as a result of the on-site and outdoor recreational activities, the activities that contribute to social and educational inclusion, health care support, and document translation, all the way to psychological and moral support.

In just a few weeks for Tania, Kira, Mira, Rostik, Oxana, Herman, Jarik, Vladi, Natasha, Katia, Vera, Daria, and many others, Domu mia became мій дім, or my home.

By breaking down socio-cultural barriers, we have reached our goal to become beacons of hope and support,  and we could hear being told “Thank you, you are our family. We feel at home here.”

The preparations for the Orthodox Easter are certainly worth mentioning and in the story of this friendship, they stand out as one of the most heartfelt moments: a wonderful week in which the preparations were set up by the volunteers, the students from the school/work alternation program together with the Ukrainian Sarrabeans.

Thanks to the festivity of those days, we saw new friendships and new life being born, especially for those who, in those days, were witnessing the threat of attacks and could not reach their loved ones by phone.

A thank you to all the members of our community who were able to interact with them by speaking the only language of Domu mia, that of solidarity.

On the street of hope number 68, we help those who are in trouble not to get lost and not to sink in the stormy sea but to be a lighthouse, a shelter, to be мій дім, Domu Mia, but also used in all the languages of the world. 

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