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ITALY: Afghan refugees building new life

Salesian missionaries in Prato, Italy, are supporting Afghan refugees

Salesian project provides support for Afghan families in Italy


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Prato, a city in Tuscany, Italy, are supporting Afghan refugees with the “We are with you” project, thanks to the financial support of Don Bosco Mondo. The project provides reception, integration, education and social support for Afghan families who arrive in Italy seeking safety and a new life.

Mahdi and Tayeba Moshtaq, two married Afghan refugees, received support from the project. After the Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, the entire Moshtaq family fled their country. The couple has two children, Narges and Amir, who were young when the family left. They arrived in Italy in January 2022 and were welcomed by the Saint Anna Oratory in Prato.

After completing  procedures to obtain a residence permit, health cards and refugee status, along with the A2 level Italian certification and the eighth grade diploma, Mahdi began working at a cooperative. Tayeba takes care of the children. In March 2023, Mahdi began an internship at a spinning company, which recently turned to an open-ended contract for him.

The family, now more settled, lives in one of the residences of Prato’s Reception and Integration System. Despite the distance from the Don Bosco Center, they continue to attend the oratory. Tayeba has said it is a real home where the family found much comfort and emotional support. Mahdi is grateful for the closeness and kindness of the people they have met.

A Salesian said, “It is not easy to start a new chapter in life when you are forced to run away from your country, taking with you the bare minimum, and having to take care of safeguarding two young children. Salesians do as much as they can to ensure refugees have safe shelter first and foremost. We help with the paperwork, teaching language lessons and helping refugees integrate into their new communities.”

In addition to helping migrants and refugees, Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS) 

ANS – Italy – The story of Mahdi and Tayeba, from Kabul to Prato for the dream of a happy life

Salesian Missions – Italy

World Bank – Italy