A fact-finding trip, organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), will see seven young Christian men visit Italy to hear first hand testimony from refugees and staff in camps, and support projects on the islands of Sicily and Lampedusa.
The visit will take place between Monday 3 and Saturday 8 April 2017.
‘Our visit brings men, mostly in their twenties, to meet the similarly aged men making the journey by sea to Europe. This is a key demographic who are often misrepresented and demonised. We want to hear their stories, to put ourselves in their shoes, so we can understand their choices, and pass on their experiences and their journeys to others on our return home’, commented Alan Meban who coordinates CTBI’s Focus on Refugees project and is co-leading the delegation.
‘We want to show solidarity with those whom fear, danger, increasing poverty and despair have led them to embark on dangerous journeys with no guaranteed outcome. And with our presence we want to support the churches, NGOs, volunteers and local people who have responded, often where governments cannot or will not, and often at cost to themselves, with generosity, humanity and compassion’, said Damian Jackson from the Irish Council of Churches, the other co-leader of the team.
‘CTBI is confident that our churches and communities will be moved and challenged by the stories the group will share with us and will want to ensure that this message will be laid alongside the new media headlines and stories’, remarked Christine Elliott, CTBI’s director of international programmes.
For more details on the CTBI delegation visiting the Italian refugee projects see Focus on Refugees.