Costanza Montanari | April 30, 2017
In recent years Italy, along with many other European countries, has witnessed a large migration flow from countries struggling with poverty, violence, and war. We have all asked ourselves how such atrocities are possible. What makes refugees leave their homes? And, most of all, how can we help?
During their study abroad year in Rome, students have the chance to ask these questions directly, learning more about the refugee situation in Italy and throughout Europe through community-based learning activities and the Rome Global Gateway collaboration with refugee centers in Rome. Here, we focus on the experience of students who volunteer at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC).
Eva Baghdan, a third-year student in the School of Architecture’s Rome Program, is working as an English tutor for a refugee from Iran named Habib. Habib is very hard working and determined to learn English to become an English teacher. Eva helps him with his grammar, conversation, and reading. “I absolutely love it. It's always a fun time. Habib and I sit together for an hour and spend the time answering any questions that he has. He has so many that sometimes we spend the entire time defining and explaining new words and phrases that he comes across when he is studying. Though I have tutored in the past, this experience for me is completely different,” Eva says. “I really look forward to every meeting. Not only was I able to help out Habib, but I was able to learn so much about him and about his ambitions. He really wants to be an English teacher, and he works very hard to accomplish this.”