Eric Adams cancels visit to immigrant school in Italy but group offers advice for the Big Apple


Mayor Eric Adams called in sick on the third day of his weekend visit to Rome. cancel a tour of an Italian school that teaches immigrants the local language to help them assimilate into society.

Adams, who left for the Eternal City on Thursday and will return to the Big Apple on Monday, seemed the picture of health at the beginning of his trip, but he became ill and coughed before his school visit on Sunday and decided to cancel.

Hizzoner was to tour the Community of Sant’Egidio, which is housed in an 18th-century building in Rome’s Piazza di Santa Maria and teaches Italian to more than 3,500 people weekly as part of a multi-year course to teach the language to immigrants. Vital work since fluency is a requirement to be a legal resident in Italy.

“He failed to see that it is possible to build a multicultural society,” a spokesman for the group said. “We would also love to help with this by connecting you with our people in New York.

Claudio Betti, a volunteer with the Sant’Egidi group, told The Post that he and his colleagues were disappointed to miss the mayor. They hoped to show him how well a cultural assimilation program can work as New York struggles to deal with its own immigration crisis. but that they were happy to put him in touch with one of their centers in New York, he said.

Mayor Eric Adams left for Rome on Thursday and will return to New York City on Monday.
Mayor Eric Adams left for Rome on Thursday and will return to New York City on Monday. Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office of Photography

“The image that you saw today in those classes is the image of the new world that we want and I am sure he would love it,” said Betti, director of the Rome Campus of the Australian Catholic University.

Sant’Egidio has taught Italian to more than 8,000 immigrants and refugees, mostly from Syria, but also from 120 other countries, including Peru, Georgia, Colombia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Libya, Sri Lanka, Ecuador and Paraguay. .

Many live on the premises and are encouraged to interact with the local community as part of their education.

“They are staying here in this neighborhood house and in the house next door. They host you for a certain period of time. They studied Italian, they studied gastronomic culture. Meanwhile, we look for the final destination,” Betti said.

A Sant'Egidio student with the textbook he needs for class.  More than 8,000 immigrants and refugees have received help
A Sant’Egidio student with the textbook he needs for class. He has helped more than 8,000 immigrants and refugees. Craig McCarthy

“We need to integrate languages (It is) a crucial, crucial issue in Italy. It is necessary to learn to be recognized as a citizen or even to apply for a restaurant. You are not allowed to be a resident here legally unless you speak (Italian),” Betti said.

Most of those 8,000 have obtained sponsorships to establish residencies throughout Italy. which Betti believes is a vital part of keeping Italy alive as its population declines.

“It’s not just about putting them in a place but making them a healthy part of society,” Betti said.

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