In the past thirty years we had the chance to work with many local, national and European organizations. With some of them we established a long-term collaboration, especially with the territorial network of the Centro Astalli in Rome. We decided to join the network back in 2000, during the celebration of our 10th anniversary.
Centro Astalli is the italian headquarter of the Jesuit Refugee Service, a catholic organization of which programmes can be found in many countries in the world with the mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and forcibly displaced people.
Adhering to this network has opened up a series of new possibilities: shared social projects in Italy basing on same goals and values.
Jesuit Refugee Service
Jesuit Refugee Service was founded on the 14th of November 1980 by father Pedro Arrupe, general superior of the Jesus Company. The main purpose of the service was to find a common answer and provide instant help to the emergency of the “boat people”, vietnamese refugees escaping from their country. After getting in touch with a dozen of fellow Jesuits in the world and collecting both human and economic support, Arrupe founded the JRS: a new global jesuitical obligation.
JRS programmes are currently found in 57 countries, where they run pastoral care and psychosocial support programmes in detention centers and refugee camps and provide humanitarian relief in emergency displacement situations.
We always refer to JRS in our actions, by being next to migrant and refugee people that we welcome and accompany in their path of inclusion and autonomy.
In Italy, father Michael Campbell-Johnston and father Dieter Scholz started to assist homeless foreigners in 1981 with a group of volunteers in Rome. This is how Centro Astalli, JRS italian headquarter, was born. The center of every Centro Astalli action is the will to accompany the refugees in their life path and sharing their experiences. Centro Astalli provides first reception of refugees, awareness raising and advocacy to change the unjust politics on a local, national or international level. Centro Astalli can count on a national network: in a year 20.000 refugees and asylum seekers find help, 11.000 only in Rome.
For us the collaboration with Centro Astalli is well-established in cultural projects, especially those who engage students in schools and the awareness of the community on topics of common interest. Furthermore, the network allows us to experiment new projects of first and second reception, by trying best practices in different contexts. This is very inspiring and it gives us the chance to exchange ideas, projects and perspectives.
Jesuit Social Network
“Jesuit Social Network-Italia Onlus” (JSN) is a federation that collects and enforces the activities of the Society of Jesus together with secular groups.
Popoli Insieme belongs to the JSN, which aims to let the voices and the battles of those who work in the associations, training centers, groups and cooperatives be heard.
In Italy it is present in 16 regions, where the member organizations are active next to those in need, in difficult contexts and social emergencies especially with refugees, homeless people, families, disabled people, convicts, endangered children.