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July 26 2015 | MOSCOW, RUSSIA

In Moscow, the solidarity summer of Sant'Egidio brings the poor back to the 'centre'

In a time when the poor are frightening and are often rejected to the periphery of cities

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Estate di solidarietà a Mosca - Il tendone del cinema per i senza dimoraLike every year, the summer months are for the friends of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Moscow an opportunity to organise initiatives of solidarity with the many homeless in the city.

Successful was the inauguration of the "summer cinema", set up by the Community in a big tent provided by the Department of Social Affairs of the City of Moscow near one of the main stations of the city. Many homeless people attended the screening of a classic Soviet film, "Operation Y", which they themselves had chosen. For many poor people, who for years did not have a chance to see a film, the cinema was a great joy. The screening was preceded by a nice lunch prepared by the friends of the Community and ended with a watermelon fest on the streets.


The inauguration of the cinema for the homeless had a great media response in Estate di solidarietà a Mosca - il salone di bellezza per i senza dimoraMoscow. The main tv news programmes and the newspapers of the city reported this news item. This allowed us to explain to many that the homeless have not only material needs and desires, but also cultural and human ones. Given the success of the initiative, the friends of Sant'Egidio intend to organise a screening per month, trying to involve a larger number of poor people.

At the same big tent, the friends of the Community set up a "beauty salon" to allow the poor to cut their hair. In this initiative, some hairdressers were involved to provide their volunteer help. The "beauty salon" has an important cultural value, because it conveys the idea that even the homeless have interest in maintaining their appearance, as opposed to what people often think.

Estate di solidarietà a Mosca - il torneo con i senza dimoraLike every year, the movement of the Youth for Peace in Moscow initiated the summer football league with the homeless. During June and July, already two games were organised, which saw how young Muscovites and poor people from Moscow opposed in mixed teams. The matches will continue in August.

In a time when the poor are frightening and are often rejected to the periphery of cities, the work of the Friends of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Moscow offers an important contribution to the humanisation of the whole society.


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