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January 30 2017 | ROME, ITALY

Building bridges, not walls: 540 Syrian refugees saved through #humanitariancorridors!

Thanks for making this dream come true!

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41 Syrian refugees arrived on January 31st arrived at the airport of Rome from Lebanon through the humanitarian corridors, a project promoted by the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Federation of Evangelical Churches of Italy (FCEI) and the Tavola Valdese, in agreement with the Italian Government. They are Christians and Muslims, one third of them are children, coming from cities like Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. This is the 6th group since February 2016: up to now 540 people, from "vulnerable" conditions, could  benefit of a model - entirely self-financed by the promoters - which promotes integration and provides security, for those arriving and those who welcome.

By welcoming the newcomers, the president of Sant'Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, explained that this system, the result of a synergy between institutions and civil society, "shows that integration is possible in Italy and Europe". Referring to the experience made in a year, Impagliazzo explained how the humanitarian corridors facilitate the access to employment for adults and schooling for children: "We are convinced that it is time to build bridges, that are the future, and not to raise walls".

The president of FCEI, Luca Maria Negro, insisted on the ecumenical value of the project: "Christians of different denominations are working together: this means that it is an exportable model. The next country should be France. Our hope is that other countries will follow the example". The Syrian refugees will live in different Italian regions, thanks to facilities generously offered by individuals, parishes and other associations as "Pope John XXIII". At the welcoming ceremony in the airport  they were also the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Giro, and the prefect Donatella Candura.




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