The US Embassy to the Holy See has provided a grant to the Solidarity and Development Secretariat to assist with the costs for refugee basic assistance and pastoral care in Rome for the 2017-18 year. For more than a year, The Solidary and Development Secretariat has been helping refugees who face innumerous physical and psychological discomforts related to both their “journey” conditions and their forced adaptation to a new reality of life in a different country.
In response to these individuals, the De La Salle Brothers have assembled a team of four (4) Catholic Religious Sisters, each of whom are from a different congregation: Ursuline Sisters of Gandino, the Daughters of Charity, the St. Anna Sisters and the Comboni Sisters. These Sisters, who are conversant in African languages, assist refugees with their many challenges to adapting to a new society. As such, they provide not only basic sanitary needs, but also provide accompaniment to health services, employment locations, counselling, translation services, as well as maternal and neonatal care.
Although there is a formal system for refugee assistance, many individuals fall outside this system. To assist with the many unmet needs and underserved refugees, “Alleanza Solidale” was established through the guidance of the De La Salle Brothers. This group of dedicated Sisters have both talent and experience working with refugees. They target for their assistance individuals who are not be assisted through traditional mechanisms, are in flight along informal routes, and who have fled from public assistance programs for various reasons.
We are grateful for the support of the US Embassy to the Holy See for their support of this program which demonstrates care and compassion for approximately 400 refugees who are served through this program.