In September 2014 we joined a Bearing Witness retreat on the small Italian island of Lampedusa in the middle of the Mediterranean, 110 km from the nearest land. Lampedusa is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento, has an area of 20.2 square kilometres (7.8 sq miles), a population of approximately 4,500 people and its main industries are fishing, agriculture, and tourism.
Lampedusa has been a passing point for many migrant journeys for centuries, but most recently a destination for boatloads of desperate people trying to enter Europe via the coast of North Africa. What we learned during our retreat, and since, has touched us deeply. This website is one way to share with you and keep the energy of our retreat moving forwards.
When my friends and family ask me, Why are these people coming to Italy? I respond, our ancestors also escaped when there was war. There went looking for their fortunes in America, Australia, Switzerland and other places. Where there is no war it gives you hope of a better future." Sergeant Major Francesco Cuonzo, Italian Marines (2014)