Four migrants disembark from the Gregoretti | Photo: ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Four migrants disembark from the Gregoretti | Photo: ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

A pregnant Nigerian woman and her family who were rescued by Italian coast guard vessel Gregoretti are now being taken care off by a Catholic charity in Catania, southern Italy.

Nigerian migrant Gaseini, his pregnant wife and their two children were rescued in the Mediterranean by coast guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, along with over 130 other migrants. Thanks to volunteers from the Rome-based Catholic charity Sant'Egidio Community, the family has found a home in Catania, Sicily. 

The Italian broadcaster Tv2000 exclusively reported from the home managed by the charity to tell the story of the Nigerian family. 

'They were really hungry when they arrived' 

"Right after they arrived", Valter Cerreti of the Sant'Egidio Community told Tv2000, "the first thing they asked for were cookies and milk. They were really hungry. They probably hadn't had any milk in months."

The mom, who is eight months pregnant, is in hospital. She is expecting a baby boy and could give birth any time now, volunteers said. 

The dad, Gaseini, told Tv2000 that he is a mechanic. "I left Libya because it is a country at the mercy of criminal gangs that kill for a few pennies. I hope I will soon be able to give back what my family and I have been receiving," he said.

Adequate accommodation 

Many in Catania are looking for suitable accommodation for the family after their youngest baby is born, volunteers told reporters. "There are many families, including mine, who are available to house the mother and newborn until a suitable solution is found," said Emiliano Abramo, president of the Sant'Egidio Community in Sicily. "To those who say 'take (migrants) home' we reply: 'We have been doing it for quite some time.'"

A total of 135 migrants on the Gregoretti were saved from drowning on the same day that at least 115 other migrants were killed in a shipwreck off Libya last month - the deadliest tragedy in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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