Community of Sant'Egidio airport welcome for refugees

ROME – The Community of Sant’Egidio will be holding a press conference and welcoming party for 114 refugees arriving from Ethiopia but originally from a number of countries across the Horn of Africa on Tuesday at Fiumicino airport.

 The arrivals have been facilitated by a protocol of understanding between the Sant’Egidio Community and the Episcopal Conference of Italy (CEI), acting alongside Italian Caritas and Migrants Foundation.

 The CEI has funded the endeavour with 8,000 euros that will facilitate the arrival of 500 refugees over the course of two years.

 Those arriving will be supported by families, parishes and religious institutions. They will be provided with apartments provided by tutor families who will help their transition into Italian life and work, with medical care and Italian language lessons.  

 The refugees themselves will be arriving into the airport at 4.30 in the morning, with the press conference scheduled for later in the morning at 11.30.

 They will be met off the plane by Oliviero Forti, head of the Immigration Office of Italian Caritas and Daniela Pompei, head of the Community of Sant’Egidio services for immigrants, refugees and romanies.  

 The Community of Sant’Egidio was founded in 1968 in the wake of the Second Vatican Council by Andrea Riccardi in a school in Rome. It has grown in the 50 years since its founding into a network of communities that operates in more than 70 countries around the world.

 They run a variety of campaigns involving migrants, homelessness, ecumenism and fostering of global peace.