We’ve already told you about the beginnings of the MasCare Project, from the lockdown to the purchase of the machine that makes surgical masks, to the certification we received last October.
However, MasCare just about making face masks. It is a much broader project, which involves many young people who live in Loppiano and try to share its values through the work they do.
Gosia is 31 years old, she’s Polish and lives in Loppiano and manages the orders that arrive on the citadel marketplace: www.madeinloppiano.it, where both surgical and FFP2 masks can be purchased: “At the beginning, when I was first offered the job, the pandemic was still very strong and supplying masks was an important activity; indeed, I would say it was a fundamental duty. So, I started asking myself questions. I asked myself: what are we really in need of right now? And, above all, how can I respond to this need without getting stuck in the usual rules of trade? The answer I gave myself was that, in the end, I should and could take care of people. I told myself that with this work, by managing these orders, taking care of all the phases, I could live and share the values of the Economy of Communion Project (EoC). When I gave myself these answers, I felt that the work made sense.”
Everyone, in fact, can be a witness and become a tool for spreading values: “I feel that I can do it by paying attention to the customer and making sure that, to some extent, he or she not only sees the final product but also becomes aware of the values behind the product. And this I can do by communicating with the customer. The ongoing effort is to draw the person on the other side of the screen into a relationship. Every time I propose a product, I try to look at it from that other side of the screen, to identify myself with them, to understand the needs of the person on the other side of the screen and ask myself how I would have felt in his or her place in front of that product, that proposal. This for me is taking care.”
Denis, 28, also tells about his experience with masks. He is Italian and has been in Loppiano at the School of Formation for Focolarinos, for about a year and works at the Fantasy, warehouse where all the orders received on the Loppiano Marketplace are packed and shipped. “The masks were begun during the pandemic, with the goal of coming up with something that the citadel of Loppiano could do at that moment. So, the mask production was a way of helping suffering people. When I got here, they were already producing the cloth masks and I could immediately feel the spirit that was being lived here.”
When we ask him how this affects his warehouse work, he replies with a big smile: “Well, it’s all part of the life I live here. Working in Loppiano is a gift, everything in my work reflects the spirit of this citadel. There are small gestures of mutual love here too, there is welcome, there is an atmosphere of brotherhood. There is also a lot of flexibility. This really can make a difference even though my work, materially, is no different from what I also did before university, in a shipping company. However, what is very different here is the spirit with which you do it, and the people you work with are different. . . I could give many examples of this.”
He tells us about one which happened only a few days before, which seems to us to be the result of taking care of the other person, to every person: “The last courier who came here quite often, told us that he would be retiring soon. He has always felt that there is a different environment here, a special desire to live this love even with those who work all the way down the chain. So, on the last day we thought we would give him a present for his newborn grandson, along with a note signed by all the Fantasy employees. He surprised me a lot when he started crying, he was so moved. He said he had never received a gift like this when leaving a job. Well, it is these moments that give a deep meaning to my job at the warehouse too.”
“We called this production line MasCare because, at the basis of all our actions, there is always our attention to the other,” project managers Marco and Luisa explained. Even from the experiences we have listened to, it seems that this spirit of caring is expressed not only by the values that lie behind the production of masks for people and by the care for the environment and by the EoC , but also by the people who commit themselves each day to be witnesses with their life and with their work to the value of caring.
By Giada Boccelari