Episcopal Relief & Development serves 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.”