BETHLEHEM – From November 21-24, the directors of the National Confederation of Misericordia of Italy, have come to the Holy Land to visit the headquarters of Bethlehem. We met President Roberto Trucchi who answered our questions.
President, what is the nature of your visit to the Bethlehem Misericordia?
Eight years ago, the Confederation of Misericordia of Italy decided to bring its commitment to the Holy Land and, specifically, to Bethlehem. For eight centuries, Misericordia have sought through the daily commitment of thousands of volunteers to be close to the needy, to bring relief to the suffering. We try to monitor the needs of a community and where possible to intervene. With this in mind, we purchased a property in Bethlehem (Canavati house) and we have set up a home for the Bethlehem Mercy in which we opened an eye clinic. During the year, Italian volunteers arrive in Palestine to bring help, but also to share culture, ideas and projects. I came with a delegation composed of Pierluigi Ciari, Monica Brogi, national councilors and two collaborators, Claudia Barsanti and Donatella Turri, to see how far our project has developed. We met various groups with whom we collaborate (Antonianum, Hogar Nino Dios, Mother Teresa Center, Ephphetha – St. Paul VI, Caritas Baby Hospital…) and we had some institutional meetings. It was also an opportunity to bring greetings and my personal thanks to the three young people of the Civil Service, Virginia, Francesco and Filippo, who have been carrying out a valuable service since last July.
What does the Bethlehem Misericordia represent for local citizenship? How do you think people perceive it?
I believe that the Misericordia of Bethlehem can represent an important reference point, a door open to all, a place of meeting and comparison. The place to meet people, available to listen and welcome. I would like every Bethlehemite to come to Misericordia to feel at home.
What is the added value of Misericordia compared to the other numerous organizations present in the area?
Each association has its own peculiarities. I do not know if we have something more and better, but I believe that eight centuries of history tell, more than anything else, who we are and what we do and, above all, how we do it.
Where do you see this Misericordia in ten years? What do you wish?
My dream is that Misericordia of Bethlehem can grow, be closer to the characteristics of Italian Misericordia, while maintaining the culture and the typicality of the Arab world, Bethlehem Misericordia will be successful if it will combine the values, principles, the operational capacity of Italian Mercies while remaining anchored to the culture, traditions and values of its territory.
Interview conducted by Filippo De Grazia