Of all the notes left on the gate at his memorial last August, there was one that read: “Thank you Gino, now rest. We will go on.” It was tied to the bars along with many others, full of affection and gratitude, but it had something different: it was somehow looking to the future.
That note was an inspiration in the year that followed, during which there was never a shortage of help and thoughts from friends or strangers who wanted to say “I’m there”, who stood by EMERGENCY in its most difficult moment.
Among the many gifts that Gino left us was a community, born around a simple idea: “Those in need must be helped.” Many people have come together around his way of seeing the world, often very different from each other, yet all convinced that abandoning someone to their fate is always an inhuman choice.
Gino did not abandon the victims of war. Wounded after wounded, conflict after conflict, he showed us that “War is never the solution, it is always the problem” and therefore must be erased from our history. Wherever he went, he saw human beings suffering because they did not have enough money to get the treatment they needed or because there were no resources where they lived, no hospitals, no doctors to turn to. In a world divided between those who can and those who cannot, he always fought to bridge that chasm as a doctor, with all the means he had. Because “treatment is a fundamental human right.”
So many people have carried on the enormous work of EMERGENCY. So many colleagues, volunteers, artists, friends, supporters, but there was always Gino at the helm. He was an excellent doctor, he had courage, of course, but above all he saw further than anyone: he had a natural ability to show the way.
Today, 13 August, marks one year since Gino left us. Although we are lonelier, all we can do today is go on. We do so because we still need to and with the knowledge that – if we continue walking today – it is also because someone before us had the strength to take the first step.