We are helping asylum-seekers and refugees survive and recover from forced displacement in Italy. We are doing this by providing leadership and consulting for the Il Soggiorno refugee welcome center in Rome.
This hospitality center is a place where asylum-seekers and refugees are welcomed with dignity by local and international volunteers. Guests have the opportunity to drink hot tea, pursue language-learning goals, and engage in meaningful conversation and cultural exchange in a highly relational context.
We are committed to responding in ways that strengthen and support the Christian response to the refugee crisis. Il Soggiorno is a partnership of multiple churches and organizations. In this context and others, we offer our ministry expertise to help churches engage in ways that help refugees recover from the trauma of displacement and integrate into society.
Italy is a primary point of entry into the European Union as desperate asylum seekers risk everything to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea (from Africa) or the Adriatic Sea (from Greece). Their simple goal is to find safety and peace. Some Italian churches are engaged and actively seeking to help, but the sheer number of people arriving on Italy's shores is overwhelming.
In Rome, forcibly displaced people are often able to find enough food and clothing necessary for survival through a network of charities. However, finding decent, safe housing is a real challenge, leaving many refugees and asylum-seekers sleeping in abandoned buildings and at train stations. Besides housing, a lack of jobs in the Italian economy makes establishing a normal life a far-off dream for many. Asylum-seekers in Rome regularly tell us that they are treated “like animals” and long most of all to be given basic respect and the opportunity to show that they have skills, dreams, and gifts that can contribute to the greater good of Italian society.
There are 68.5 million forcibly displaced children, women and men in the world - the highest number ever recorded. That's 1 in every 110 people alive today. Another 44,400 people are uprooted every day.
First, God is alive and well along the refugee highway today. Second, Refugees are more than people in need. They are an important part of the solution. And third, God has begun a worldwide movement of his people to welcome and love refugees.
Learn more below.
Discover how you can help people survive and recover from forced displacement by providing them with shelter, water, Bibles, church buildings, schools, income-generation, specialized training and more!
Whether by joining the support team of one of our missionaries or by joining one of our teams yourself, you can show up in the lives of refugees. Explore the unique work of IAFR in Africa, Europe and North America.
All photos on this website by IAFR.