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Driekoningenfeest in het asielcentrum Ponte Galeria in Rome

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6 January 2009 - Epiphany Party at the C.I.E. (Identification and Expulsion Center) of Ponte Galeria, in the periphery of Rome, with the Community of Sant' Egidio.

January 6th was a special day at the C.I.E. of Ponte Galeria: a group of the Community of Sant'Egidio of Rome and of Peace People of various nationalities arrived in the center with all things necessary for a party: colored tablecloths, Christmas decorations, sweets and chocolate, gifts for all.

The lunch hall of the Center, decorated for the party, changed its look. The tables prepared in red, some Peace People flags, with the dove and the rainbow, immediately created a familiar and joyful mood. A Christmas image was also put on every table, with the passage of Christmas from the Gospel of Luke and a prayer of pope John Paul II for the poor and for peace.


About 220 guests came, mostly women, of different origins, all very young. Some of them had already met the Community at the soup-kitchen in Via Dandolo.

Daniela Pompei addressed to all a greeting on behalf of the Community of Sant'Egidio that, for almost 30 years now, has been close to those who, having left their country, face many difficulties every day.  The wish for the new year has been that "no one be any longer considered a foreigner".


Right after that, music started, a Nigerian song, almost a gospel, that incited a large applause and all the room was full of dances and songs. An extraordinary show for a place usually marked by silence and sadness. Also the Red Cross staff, that manages the Center, participated in this common moment of joy.

The songs and the dances went on all afternoon, while having sweets, nougat and chocolate.

As usual in every family in the time of Christmas parties, there were also gifts: waterproof jackets, sweatshirts, and then, for all, the guide "Where to eat, to sleep and to wash oneself" and a list of addresses that will be useful both for whom will return to homeland and for whom will stay in Italy.



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