With refugees in Rome

jnrcEarlier this year while on a 6-week vacation I volunteered weekday mornings at a center for political refugees in Rome in the crypt of St. Paul’s Within the Walls. More than 200 men forced to flee political persecution in their homelands find warm shelter there each weekday. Most of these refugees are homeless, spending their nights under bridges or sitting up asleep in the train station. At St. Paul’s they eat a breakfast of bread and tea, receive hygiene supplies, get to clean up in the basement bathroom, are given suitable clothing if they need it, and spend a few hours in safety.

80% of the men are from war-torn Afghanistan, and most of the rest are escaping civil strife in African countries. Blasted out of their homelands and plunked down in a country that even in good economic times doesn’t generally welcome immigrants, these courageous men are determined to learn necessary skills for prospering in Italy.  There’s more…

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