Among Europe’s social systems which are the most hard-hit by migration, Italy probably tops the list. Predisposing that country to an influx of migrants is an extensive coastline which draws immigrants not only from the Middle East but also from Africa. The country has been exceptional in their efforts to accommodate huge waves of immigrants, but social services are stretched to a breaking point and often do not provide all of the services needed.
Refugees living in Italy face many physical and psychological discomforts related to both their “journey” conditions and their forced adaptation to a new social reality. These refugees are marginalized on many levels: they are linguistically challenged, unfamiliar with routes to basic services, incapable of navigating legal hurdles to governmental integration, living with the uncertainty of adequate/permanent housing, unable to secure steady employment, and often suffering from post-traumatic stress resultant from their perilous journeys as refugees.
In response to these individuals, the De La Salle Brothers have assembled a team of four Catholic Religious Sisters, each of whom are from a different congregation: the Ursuline Sisters of Gandino, the Daughters of Charity, the St. Anna Sisters and the Comboni Sisters. All of the Sisters have experience with refugee work. Sister Carmela, additionally has years of experience working in Italy regarding women’s trafficking issues and brings this important expertise to the project. Together they form “Alleanza Solidale” which is a welcoming, compassionate service addressing the needs of migrants in Rome. This program provides refugee accompaniment to basic services (health services, hospitalization, employment services, police and other religious and lay organizations that deal with refugee-assistance issues) as well as providing a conduit to counselling care for refugees who do not have access to the formal Refugees and Asylum Seekers system (RAS). They accompany pregnant women to medical services and ensure their neonates receive proper immunizations. They provide clothing and basic sanitary needs to refugees who generally fall outside of regular support systems. Last year as the program was being piloted, 500 refugees and asylum seekers were beneficiaries in Rome.
You can help fund this program which provides basic assistance and social services to the refugees by DONATING HERE.