Immigrants Complete 8th ADRA-Sponsored Italian Literacy Course

The initiative promotes work placement and integration to the local community.

Hope Media Italia, and Adventist Review
Immigrants Complete 8th ADRA-Sponsored Italian Literacy Course
Group of immigrants who completed the Italian literacy course and were awarded certificates pose with their instructors in Ragusa, Sicily, Italy, on December 16. [Photo: ADRA Italy]

A touching ceremony took place at the Seventh-day Adventist church in Ragusa, Sicily, Italy, December 16, 2023, local Adventist leaders and city officials said.

That day, local church and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) leaders awarded completion certificates to 15 young men and women who completed the 8th Italian Literacy Course for Immigrants with a Work Orientation. Ragusa mayor Giuseppe Cassì attended the ceremony, as well as local health councilor Giovanni Iacono and city councilor Gianna Occhipinti.

“The ADRA office of Ragusa has made the utmost effort to deliver the certificate of completion, a useful and mandatory document for entry into the world of work, to these young people,” Iacono wrote on his Facebook page a day after the event. “[ADRA] has translated into deeds what many do only in words, giving dignity to these willing young people through the possibility of working. These are well-structured courses, and it’s no coincidence that, once completed, companies indeed hire them,” he said.

“We must teach these young people how to give their best in various work fields,” Iacono added. “Those concrete job opportunities, then, as a result, will help them to integrate into the social and cultural fabric of our city. A special and heartfelt thanks to ADRA, which for the eighth consecutive year has rendered a great service to the Ragusa community and allows us to tell, today, a beautiful Christmas story with a happy ending!”

The course has been made possible thanks to the tireless commitment of coordinator Giorgio Bella and the management team that includes Carmela Cascone, Stefania Sudano, Gabriella Montemagno, and Daniele Passaretta.

The local ADRA office also celebrated the achievement.

“It was a day to hear the vibrant stories of the young men and women, young ambassadors of hope, who shared their experiences upon arrival in Italy and the dreams that propel them,” ADRA Ragusa wrote in a statement. “A religious community welcomed them with love and guided them along a training journey that is the key to their hope for a future job and the construction of a better tomorrow.”

The ADRA statement added that “in the warm embrace of this community, their eyes revealed a deep gratitude, almost like ‘grafted trees,’ as [Daniele] Passaretta has pointed out, in a new land that represents the hope of their future.”

At the end of the ceremony, the 15 young participants gave a gift full of meaning to those present, a box that holds authentic treasures: a letter written by the students and signed with their full name; a map of their beloved country of origin; a recipe that reflects the richness of their culture; two bottles full of seeds; a group photo that captures the strength of unity; and an individual photograph of each one of them.

“This gift, so unique and meaningful, will be the beacon that will help us to always remember these people,” an ADRA Ragusa representative said.

The original version of this story was posted by Hope Media Italia.

Hope Media Italia, and Adventist Review