Loving your neighbor as yourself is a cornerstone of Christian teaching. In Italy, the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo put that core belief into practise, launching the Scalabrinian Foundation.
With the goal of impacting international policies in support of migrants and refugees, the Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo/Scalabrinian Missionaries created the Scalabrinian Foundation to support refugees and foster national and international migrant rights alliances and cooperation networks in Italy and beyond.
"We decided to create this foundation ... to respond to migrants who suffer on the planet," said Sister Janete Ferreira, the superior general of the order, highlighting that the sisterhood wanted to "contribute to their development to generate alliances and cooperation networks."
"Working for rights and for the building of peace, justice, solidarity, interculturality" is also at the heart of the mission the sisterhood seeks to pursue, she added.
Compassion for hundreds of millions
"In recent years, 272 million people have fled their homes due to persecution, conflicts, and economic and environmental problems," Sister Ferreira stressed, adding that "every day, thousands of people cross the borders of their countries of origin to protect their lives or simply to find something to eat."
"The European Union is at the heart of the requests for help from many migrants who cross what perhaps is one of the most dangerous routes in the world, the Mediterranean."
Ferreira also mentioned other migrant movements further afield, which are in need of attention at the policy-making level, such as the situation in the US, where she said "the 'American dream' causes waves of families to try to enter the US from Mexico and Central America" as well as the economic and social crisis in Venezuela, which has pushed thousands into neighboring countries as well as the into the EU.