Mediterranean migrant crisis: Born on a rescue ship

In an incubator in an Italian maternity hospital lies a baby with two names, and an incredible story.
To the Italians, she is Francesca Marina. To her mother, she is simply called Gift.
Just four days old, the baby was born on an Italian naval rescue ship, the Bettica.
Her mother, Stephanie Samuel, is recovering in the same hospital in Ragusa. They endured a 10-hour boat ride, and eight hours of labour.
Stephanie Samuel had worked as a housemaid in Tripoli but after two years, and with a deteriorating security situation in Libya, she decided that even though heavily pregnant, she had to escape.
“I think that Italy is more good than Libya, so I decide to come to Italy,” she explained in broken English. “I thought I would come to Italy and have the baby a week later.”
Despite the dangers of the crossing – it cost her $600 (530 euros) in a boat packed with nearly 100 other people – she was prepared for the risk.
“I’m not scared,” she said. “I make up my mind, and I’m not scared, because I believe there is God.”
Her husband, Valentino, is still in Libya. He received news of the birth in a telephone call.
“I told him I’m here safely and I have a baby, a baby girl, and he was happy,” she said.
“I’m happy to have Gift, she’s my first daughter, my first born,” she added.

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