Afghanistan, welcome to newly arrived refugees

Saturday 22 June welcome celebration with family members and mediators who will contribute to their integration
On Friday evening, 191 Afghan refugees arrived on a flight from Islamabad thanks to the Humanitarian Corridors promoted by the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Italian Protestant Churches and Arci, in agreement with the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs. These families and individuals - among them 71 minors and 70 women - had been refugees in Pakistan since August 2021 and spent almost three years in extremely precarious conditions in an informal camp in the centre of Islamabad. Since the fall of Kabul and the great initial mobilisation, many of the Afghans who managed to escape by taking refuge in neighbouring countries are still awaiting resettlement.
On Saturday 22 June, at the School of Italian Language and Culture in Trastevere, the refugees participated in a welcome and festive event together with their families and the mediators who will contribute to their integration. They will start Italian language classes, the children will be enrolled in school, and the adults will be supported in job search. Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant'Egidio, attended the meeting and said: "Sant'Egidio has built a bridge to bring you to Italy and to reunite so many families separated by difficulties. Now you are free to build your future: learning Italian, taking responsibility for your families and integrating in this country." (Read more)

The Humanitarian Corridors - promoted by Sant'Egidio together with several associations - have so far allowed the safe arrival of over 7,400 refugees in Europe, including 1,200 Afghans. This entirely self-financed pilot project has been implemented thanks to a widespread reception network, supported by the generosity of many Italian citizens. It represents a successful model, combining solidarity and safety.