Renewed support for refugee center in Rome

July 28, 2017

[Episcopal Relief & Development] Episcopal Relief & Development is serving tens of thousands of displaced people in Rome through the ongoing relief efforts of its partner, the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC). JNRC addresses the needs of people fleeing conflict and persecution by providing a safe and secure daytime shelter to support their physical and psychological well-being. Episcopal Relief & Development’s support enables the center to provide food, essential non-food items and access to clean water and facilities for personal hygiene.

“As Italy struggles to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, JNRC’s humanitarian services are required more than ever. We are now seeing unprecedented numbers as the refugee population in Europe reaches crisis level,” noted Annika Milisic-Stanley, an organizer for the center. The center reported that the increased demand for services is due to a rise in the number of people fleeing Libya, increased deportations from other countries, and the closure of Le Jongle (“The Jungle”)camp in Calais, France.

The Joel Nafuma Refugee Center provides a unique resource for people seeking safety in Rome, as the only center in the region supplying displaced people with food, shelter and social services during the day. The center offers its guests hot breakfast and food, blankets and toiletries, along with legal advice to assist them in finding employment and establishing new lives in Europe. People at the center can take computer and language classes, learning skills to help them find jobs and fit into new communities. It also offers a multi-faith prayer space, where guests can reflect, meditate and pray. Since many guests are alone and vulnerable, counseling services are available to help them cope as they transition to independence.

“Through the Nafuma Center’s longstanding presence in the region, they have significant experience and established relationships that allow our aid to be most effectively used,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer for Disaster Response and Risk Reduction at Episcopal Relief & Development. “As more people seek safety and resources in and around Rome, their services are more vital than ever.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s assistance will provide kitchen items and supplies to enable JNRC to serve 200-250 men and women per day with meals through the center’s breakfast program. The agency will also support the bathroom and sanitation facilities at the center, including free hot water for guests, who often are homeless or staying in overcrowded government dormitories. Additional relief will include the provision of clothes, shoes, blankets and essential toiletries.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s partnership with the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center is part of an ongoing effort to provide care and compassionate support for those seeking refuge in Europe. Over the past year, the organization has worked with the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe  to support centers for displaced people such as the Asylum Seeker Center in Munich and the center in the Le Jongle camp in Calais, France. The agency has also supported congregations of the Convocation, such as All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Waterloo, Belgium, who continue to provide meals and other vital services for those seeking safety from conflict in Syria and elsewhere.

Please continue to pray for those displaced by instability and conflict in their home nations, and for the men and women providing refuge at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center and other centers around the world.

In order to help, please donate to the International Disaster Response Fund to enable Episcopal Relief & Development to respond where most needed.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has served as a compassionate response to human suffering in the world. The agency works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, it works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities create long-term development strategies and rebuild after disasters.

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