Migration Crisis The children who lost their families after the shipwreck of Italy: "Where is mom?"

"Dad's in Sweden, I know

Migration Crisis The children who lost their families after the shipwreck of Italy: "Where is mom?"

"Dad's in Sweden, I know. He'll come looking for me soon." The boy who repeats these words over and over again is in the pediatric ward of the San Giovanni di Dio hospital in Crotone. His condition is good, but in that hell from the freezing night from Saturday to Sunday he lost his entire family: his mother, four brothers, cousins. There is no news of his father, he is one of those who are still missing.

It is not clear how this little boy survived, an event that seems to have something miraculous. Some say that he was rescued by one of those few castaways who knew how to swim. Some kind of hero who supposedly rescued two or three people by braving the waves multiple times. And the insistent phrase, 'my dad is in Sweden'? "He seems to be a way to protect himself: he is in a state of shock, upset, he has lived a nightmare," confesses one of the psychologists who are part of the team of specialists provided by the Crotone town hall.

So far, 82 survivors have been located and 62 bodies have been recovered from the shipwreck off the Calabrian coast, but dozens of people are still missing. "Among the bodies recovered and the missing there are a hundred fatalities, an enormous number," said yesterday the spokesman in Italy for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Flavio di Giacomo, explaining that according to the testimonies of the survivors 180 people were traveling on the boat.

What has happened to the children and young people on board the barge is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this catastrophe. It is believed that there are at least 15 dead under the age of 18. Of a nine-year-old girl we only know the initials by which she has been known up to now: Kr14f9. Those who survived, however, lost one or more relatives including fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters. Here is a devastating story from Sergio Di Dato, coordinator of Doctors Without Borders: a 22-year-old man managed to "knock down his six-year-old little brother on the wreckage of the boat. But he saw him slowly die of hypothermia."

According to the councilor for social services, Filly Pollinzi, "eight children are hospitalized. Their condition is good and these admissions are only a precaution." The fact is that "they do not speak. Many cry, a way of letting off steam from the drama they experienced". Later, the screams "of a woman, very hurt - this time it is the testimony of a hospital volunteer - who incessantly calls for her dead daughter, whom she has not been able to save...". From the pediatric ward, another girl cries, and despairs because she is looking for a mother who can no longer respond.

To give consolation, Monsignor Francesco Savino, Bishop of Cassano and vice-president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, has also gone to San Giovanni di Dio. He reflects in a low voice, thinking "of some children who ask where their parents are. It is a drama within another drama, let's put ourselves in the shoes of those parents who have lost their children and experience almost a feeling of guilt because they are gone." But what about those mothers and fathers who watched their children leave Afghanistan?The 16-year-old boy who lost his 28-year-old sister in the shipwreck, who washed up dead on the beach, couldn't tell his parents the truth "When he called his father yesterday," Di Dato continues, "he told him that she was still alive, in the hospital." Assisted by psychologists from the municipality of Crotone, the boy is now in the Cosentino area, admitted to a center juvenile.

As for the orphaned 12-year-old boy, who is waiting for his father to come to Sweden to look for him, he will most likely be temporarily fostered by an Italian family. In the meantime, he will set up a kind of "international protection" to look for other relatives he may have in Europe. If they find them, the little one will go with them. Otherwise, he will remain in Italy.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project