ITALY: Women who have faced violence now living at Salesian House of Women Center released recipe book in honor of International Women’s Day
(MissionNewswire) In honor of International Women’s Day held earlier this month on Mar. 8, the Salesians for Social Affairs in collaboration with the House of Women Center, located in the harbor city of Messina in northeast Sicily, Italy, presented the recipe book, “The Recipes of Mamma Margherita.” The book was created by four women with a passion for cooking who were victims of violence in the past. It is now available for free download and is full of recipes and the stories of its four authors.
The recipe book was inspired by Margherita Occhiena who was the mother of St. John (Don) Bosco and cooked for many young people from the Turin-Valdocco district in Italy. “It is a tribute to her and to all mothers who take care of their children even by cooking a ‘good meal,’” says Father Giovanni d’Andrea, president of the Salesians for Social Affairs. “The project was also a way to be in solidarity with the women welcomed in the House of Women, which we support in its activities and is aimed at helping victims of violence or with serious family difficulties.”
The four women – Paola, Sabrina, Sara and Miriam – wrote the recipes, expressing in the book’s pages their desire to live and rise again, and also to share their painful experiences which are much too common even today. The House of Women Center was established in 2004 through an initiative of the Italian Social Reinsertion Committee of which the Salesians for Social Affairs is a member.
The city of Messina is among Italy’s poorest with high levels of unemployment and a lack of social services. The House of Women Center acts as a safe house where young women can access psychological, legal and medical support. Above all, it is a place where they can raise their children in peace.
In addition to providing hospitality, the center offers vocational training and job placement services. Thanks to a donation, the center also has an industrial kitchen which in recent years, has allowed resident women to start a catering service and become more economically autonomous.
In 2017, the region of Sicily had to cut its funds for anti-violence centers and was asked to sell the building where the House of Women is located. The managers of the House of Women have launched the #1CASAPERILCIRS campaign with the aim of buying the building so they are able to continue to provide services.
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UNICEF – Italy Poverty