La Casa Futura: Achieving independence for Egyptian youths in the freedom of the West
Rome, Italy. -– a Voice of the Copts’ project
La Casa Futura assists refugee youths fleeing from Egypt due to religious persecution. La Casa Futura is a two-year assimilation program in a residence building for young men and women (ages 15-20 years old) coming from Italian refugee camps. Language classes, vocational training and assistance for legal status in Italy are provided.
Voice of the Copts
Voice of the Copts (VOTC) is a non-profit (501c3) organization based in the USA with an Italian branch office. Its chartered mission is to educate and raise the level of awareness in the West of the discriminatory and oppressive practices in Egypt. These are based on a gamut from inferior treatment and limited rights to terror and violence. The centuries-old second-class status of Christians includes sectarian violence against the church. Coptic Christians of Egypt are the largest Christian minority group in the Islamic Middle East. Many Copts have suffered great personal loss and trauma.
LA CASA FUTURA SUMMARY OVERVIEW
See full document for details currently in the Italian language (translation underway).
Many Coptic refugees have fled to Italy for safety and a new life. La Casa Futura will be an opportunity (the only opportunity currently in existence) for young Egyptian Copts to go forward by learning a new language and job skills to assimilate into the work force of Italy. Keeping with our mission statement, VOTC will conduct open house forums within the Casa Futura facility as well as off-campus locations to promote mutual understanding between Egyptian Copts and Italian citizens.
Purpose of Casa Futura – to create better life conditions and offer hope
1. Young immigrants from Egypt are overwhelmed by the loss of homeland and family members (in some cases orphaned) and now face the fear and distrust found in a host population. Our program will assist integration into the Italian culture.
2. Refugee camps are temporary. They even lack food supplies. The La Casa Futura live-in facility will provide young men and women with work training, language learning, and cultural education. This not only solves the problem of short term provision but the larger issue of independence and integration into society allowing Italy to gain from newly skilled craftsmen in sectors now facing a scarcity of labor force.
3. Coptic refugees, bereft of legitimate paths into Italian society, remain idle and isolated. The La Casa Futura will intervene to lessen this impact. Our Rome, Italy facility will offer an environment for nurturing growth in ways best suited for adapting to Italian society. In so doing also foster individual responsibility and well-being.
4. Suspicion of strangers. To promote mutual understanding, native Italians will be invited to attend La Casa Futura forums to hear personal testimonies of students who wish to share the stories of their past.
The following is deemed necessary for the project’s success:
La Casa Futura will entail:
–One location (one building) adequate to accommodate housing, meals and class instruction for 60-100 Coptic youths. –Cooperation from various industrial sectors to create internships and instruction
— Instructors and other qualified staff (including social workers, health caregivers, language interpreters)
— Laboratories and classrooms
— Vehicles for transporting students
UPDATE: Voice of the Copts now has a solid commitment for a donated building currently vacant in the outskirts of Rome. (Photos are available.)
Candidate selection for the program and La Casa Futura commitment
Year one of the newly funded Casa Futura project will be for setting up and preparing the facility, designing programs, hiring personnel and choosing candidates. Enrollment begins in the second year of the project for a two-year program. All subsequent enrollments will be for a two-year program.
The La Casa Futura social workers will visit current refugee camps to interview and evaluate interested candidates, matching qualifications to the program. This would then comprise the pool of youths of both male and female from which the final selection is made for acceptance into the two-year program. At this point, the accepted individuals will either choose or decline entry into a three-week trial period of the program.
Our aim is to achieve an equal number of males and females. During this period, in order to avoid future, problems behavior will be observed and matched for consistency with answers on evaluation surveys to assess permanent admission to the program.
During the course of the two-year program a staff social worker assigned to each student will carry out monthly progress reports in order to insure continued compliance with house rules and Italian law. Depending on the facts emerging from the student report and analysis by staff, an intervention may be necessary for continuance in the program or removal from the program.
Upon actions leading to expelling a student, the refugee camp of origin must re-admit the student. (An affidavit expressing the relationship between the program and the continued responsibility of the original refugee camp pertaining to each attendee must be kept on file with La Casa Futura).
For refugees included in La Casa Futura, health care will be guaranteed as with Italian citizens. The program will administer periodic physical examinations from visiting health care professionals and heed any recommendations made for needed specialists including mental health care agencies. Much concern will be made for appropriate course level placement within laboratories of study and verification of educational objectives. Consideration will be given to regular sports activities and socialization with fellow students on campus as well as allowing for outside visitors, in particular, family members.
See biography of Dr.Ashraf Ramelah at the following link. http://www.voiceofthecopts.org/index.php/ashraf-ramelah/biography
UPDATE: Casa Futura project has been accepted and approved by the Italian Interior Ministry for future matching funds once in operation.
Further details and information are available upon request.