A smile for Zakaria

All along abuses and brutality on the part of other human beings resulting from insane laws regulating migratory flows to Europe.

While he lived in Mali with his family, Zakaria looked after cows like now in Italy.

He’s been doing this for four years in the stables where the milk for Parmiggiano Reggiano is produced in Modena district.

In his job he shows great skill, passion and determination, all traits that allowed him to overcome numberless trials in order to arrive here in Nonantola.

His journey was six years long: one year in Cotonou (Benin), one year in Agadez (Niger), four years in between Sebha and Tripoli (Lybia). At every stop, odd jobs to gather some money he would send to his family but also use to continue his journey: bricklayer, laborer, carpenter , servant…

All along abuses and brutality on the part of other human beings resulting from insane laws regulating migratory flows to Europe. Particularly, in Agadez, doorway to the Sahara, he is stopped by a gang of thieves. Thinking he has the money for the desert crossing, they try to rob him and disfigure his face: they lay him down, put a stone between his teeth and crush his face underfoot like a cigarette butt. They leave him there almost dead. But Zakaria rises, he is cured by soldiers in Agadez camp and after one month he resumes the journey.

In 2017, after four days’ navigation he is rescued by an Italian military ship and lands in Trapani. After a month he arrives in Nonantola. Here he studies Italian at “Scuola Frisoun”, attends farming training courses, works as a volunteer for “Niente di nuovo” and walks children to school for “Piedibus”.  Here he seems to have found a place to set roots.

He loves his job. In particular he looks after pregnant cows and their calves: cleans the stables, gives injections, feeds calves with milk and colostrum.

Now the situation is stable, Zak, that’s how he wants to be called by friends, has decided to take care of his teeth and mouth, which needs to be reconstructed almost completely. A dentist from Nonantola working in Modena offered to cure him for free, but the treatment is long term and expensive: the cost of materials, equipment and technician laboratory add up to 8,000 euros. Zak could hardly afford to pay alone this amount, with his salary.

We decided to give him a hand. With your help it will be easier to reach this goal.

(Traduzione di Katia Ferrara)

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