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Italy Quake: 'Migrants Who Have Nothing Help Europeans in Need'

© REUTERS / Emiliano GrillottiRescuers work at a collapsed building following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016
Rescuers work at a collapsed building following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016 - Sputnik International
Refugees in Italy’s southern region of Calabria are donating money to help survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit the country earlier this week. Sputnik discussed the refugees' involvement in rescue operations with Giovanni Maiolo - local coordinator of Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Italy.

“In our project we decided to help [the victims of the earthquake] in a symbolic way. The day of the earthquake they saw on television houses destroyed, towns destroyed and a lot of them thought about their own countries, their houses destroyed by bombs and their family members killed. So they decided to do something, to collect money and send it to the people in need,” Giovanni Maiolo said.

He added that even though most of these migrants are poor, they still decided, in a show of solidarity, to give up a daily allowance of 2 euros to help survivors. They managed to raise 1,000 euros to be sent to people in central Italy.

“It is symbolic that people who have nothing, who arrived in Europe to escape war in their own countries, decided to give what they have to people who have problems at this moment. People who have suffered feel sympathy for people who have likewise suffered,” Giovanni told Sputnik.

People stand along a road following a quake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. - Sputnik International
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When asked who prompted the refugees to join the rescue operation, he said that it was that sense of empathy that pushed them to do this because they know that Italy was giving them shelter, food and pocket money to live on.

“This is a way for them to say ‘thank you, Italy,’ because they need help and Italy is giving them this help.”

“This is very important to make people understand that migrants are not all terrorists and criminals, that they are human beings and that maybe with this initiative people will see them in a different light, like human beings, not terrorists,” Giovanni Maiolo emphasized.

On Wednesday, a 6.0-magnitude quake shook the central Italian Umbria region, causing damage across numerous towns in several provinces and resulting in the death of almost 300 people. The earthquake was followed by multiple aftershocks.

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