Walking through the Baobab Refugee Camp in Rome one afternoon last April, I first have to navigate a sea of empty tents filling a parking lot. Many are slightly upended, crammed alongside each other with their flaps hanging open. A few are weighted down with rocks. Some shelters consist of nothing more than rigged up tarps, cardboard boxes and garbage bags.
Save for a few women talking quietly, huddled together on plastic lawn chairs, the only movement comes from a breeze lifting a flimsy sheet hanging on the fence proclaiming, “Refugees welcome.”
As I make my way to the center, however, I come upon an oasis bursting with humanity.