THE first of the 1000 refugees set to arrive in Italy from camps in Lebanon, Morocco, and Ethiopia through a “humanitarian corridors” project were welcomed this month.
The scheme was organised by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), the Roman Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio, and the Italian government (News, 1 January). It was designed to allow refugees to reach the country safely, by air, without relying on people-smugglers and the dangerous passage across the Mediterranean. Once the refugees — who will include Christians and Muslims — have arrived, churches will provide housing, cultural orientation, and language lesson. They will include the sick and the elderly, women alone with young children, or people with disabilities.
The first family, which arrived two weeks ago, is from Syria, and includes a seriously ill seven-year-old girl, who is now being treated at the Bambin Gesù Hospital in Rome, according to the World Council of Churches.
On Monday, students at an event organised by the Student Christian Movement called for better access to higher education for refugees and asylum-seekers in Britain.