Enrica Massari talks about her experience of working with the Made in Carcere laboratory.
“At first I was a bit fearful of this reality, but during the experience I appreciated the inmates’ need to have contact with the outside world and to recall scenes of everyday life with us”. Enrica Massari, a LUISS student enrolled in the fourth year of Low, chose the Made in Carcere laboratory among the activities of last year’s Voluntary Project. Interested in the reform of the penitentiary system, Enrica worked a month with the inmates of the Lecce Prison last summer to get to know life in prisonup close and challenge their prejudices.
Luciana Delle Donne, the mastermind behind Made in Carcere, entrusted her with the role of logistics and organization manager of the Officina Creativa cooperative. Every day, she took care of contacting the collaborators who supply waste materials and fabrics and supervising the creation of bags and accessories. “I learned that a good working method, a cohesive team, a strong leadership that respects the thinking of others, as well as a great deal of desire to do, spirit of sacrifice and ability to adapt, are the tools to achieve all the goals working“.
Having overcome her first fears, she discovers a group of curious women eager to share stories and daily experiences. “Every inmate has her story, her past, her memories. Many of them shared them with us, showing us family photos and opening the doors to their past. The empathic relationship is fundamental: thanks to this mutual and constant exchange I have reached the awareness that in life there is always a second chance, a possibility of redemption. As the phoenix is reborn from its ashes, even those who have made mistakes can be reborn and rebuild their future“.
Day after day, Enrica feels that her work and relationships help not only the inmates to “escape” from the routine, but also herself and the other girls to take a new look at reality: “Every day you come into contact with people who have wrong but in whose eyes you can read the desire to do and redeem yourself. They want to learn from their mistakes, to change their lives and start from scratch ”.
In her month spent in Puglia, Enrica experienced very emotional moments, such as when she witnessed the release of a prisoner during her last day of work. “Seeing this boy breathe an air of freedom, full of enthusiasm and ready to rebuild a future for himself, struck me with an unexpected sense of joy and lightness on the very day when I sadly ended this journey”.
This feeling of being part of a small family, helping each other to achieve the well-being of all, is the most important aspect for Enrica, the one that breaks down all prejudices. “Every new experience and every person you meet always has something to give and tell us. Thanks to Made in Carcere I understood the importance of the value ofhuman dignity; I understood that whatever happens and whatever mistakes are made, we cannot and must not lose our personality. And I understood that the treatment that a society reserves for the most disadvantaged people is an indication of hits humanity“.