Rome (NEV), 30 January 2017 – The youngest was born one month ago. Her name is Stéphanie and she is Syrian, but was born just a few kilometres north of Beirut (Lebanon). On January 30th, together with her family, she arrived at Fiumicino by an airlift as part of the “humanitarian corridors” project. She was not subjected to the abuse of traffickers, but arrived in complete safety with other forty people – women, sick persons, elderly people and children – mainly from Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. The promoters of the “corridors” – the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Waldensian Board – were waiting for them at dawn at Fiumicino Airport.
Once in Italy, the families are going to be relocated to different parts of the peninsula, guests of facilities made available by the promoters of the project and their partners. This particular group will be looked after by the Community of Sant’Egidio, the next, expected by the end of February, will be assisted by the Waldesian Diaconia.
Throughout 2016, the pilot project brought 500 refugees, mostly Syrians, ti Italy. The protocol signed by the promoters with the Ministry of Interior and the one of Foreign Affairs, provides for a total of 1,000 beneficiaries. A channel from Morocco is also expected to open shortly.
Only one year ago, 4 February 4th 2016, the first gate to Europe was opened with the arrival in Fiumicino of little Falak, suffering from cancer, and her family. This marked a different way of receiving refugees, allowing all those provided with the necessary requirements, to exercise their right to international protection in dignity.
Like Falak, who today, together with her brother, attends an elementary school in Rome, Stéphanie also, legally and safely, entered Italy with a regular visa issued by the Italian Embassy of Beirut. The promoters want to encourage other European countries to do the same. For now, only France is serious about wanting to launch a similar project.