JCU STAND Donates €10,000 to Italian Red Cross

John Cabot University is proud to announce that the STAND student club recently donated €10,000 to the Italian Red Cross (IRC). The funds, which were raised during STAND’s Fall 2017 book sale, will allow the IRC to purchase IKEA Better Shelters, thus replacing cramped, cold tents with appropriate housing, and enhancing the quality of life of the many migrants living in the IRC Ramazzini Hub in Rome.

Stand with Italian Red Cross

Stand with the Italian Red Cross

On September 19, 2017, STAND welcomed two representatives of the Italian Red Cross, Lino Posteraro and Flavia Cuniolo, who illustrated the ongoing collaboration with the JCU Community Service Program, which began in 2015 when STAND donated various games, such as foosball tables, to the reception camp at Stazione Tiburtina.

The speakers explained the importance of the Italian Red Cross’ involvement with the current refugee crisis in Rome, stressing that the organization’s main objective is to offer tools for the integration of migrants. On a daily basis, and thanks to the support of many volunteers, the organization welcomes 900 asylum seekers to the five IRC reception centers in the city.

Posteraro explained that the large majority of migrants that arrive at IRC centers come from Sub-Saharan Africa, risking their lives while crossing the desert and the Mediterranean Sea. While many migrants are young men, there are extensive problems resulting from the sex-trafficking and slavery of Nigerian women, and the migration of unaccompanied minors.

When migrants arrive on Italian soil, they are identified and fingerprinted in hotspots, and are lodged in government reception centers. Subsequently, the Central Police Station must formalize their asylum request. The IRC reception centers offer many services including clothing, food, and other basic needs, medical assistance, and psychological support, especially for those who have suffered trauma, torture, violence, and have witnessed death on their journey. The IRC also provides Italian classes, as a first step towards integration, and legal services, including support and information for asylum-seeking procedures.

(Nastassja Biles)