“We are witnessing a changed reality in that forced displacement nowadays is not only vastly more widespread but is simply no longer a short-term and temporary phenomenon.” — Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

“Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us—except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale.” — Khaled Hosseini, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador


What happens once refugees arrive in their host countries? Due to a variety of underlying factors such as growing sectarian conflict, increased income inequality, and climate change, refugee displacement rates have sharply increased in the last ten years and are projected to rise at an even higher rate this decade. Refugee economic integration is a sustainable solution that restores stability and access to a dignified livelihood, especially for teenagers who, because of their age and mental elasticity, need the most help in the integration process.

The integration of refugees is a dynamic and multifaceted two-way process which requires efforts by all parties concerned, including a preparedness on the part of refugees to adapt to the host society without having to forego their own cultural identity, and a corresponding readiness on the part of host communities and public institutions to welcome refugees and meet the needs of a diverse population.

For Session 1 of The Artivist Nest we will be working with well-established Roman charity, Sant Egidio, to facilitate and oversee the participation of 10 young migrants already living in Italy in our first retreat in Rome in September 2022. The youth will join us for a series of activities designed to engage and integrate, led by youth empowerment professionals from varied backgrounds and cultures. Mentors and professionals with similar pasts and struggles will also participate – offering inspiration and guidance.

Each of the 10 youth will receive a scholarship and/or consistent mentorship following the retreat, in an effort to further support and follow their progress as they make steps towards settling into their new home and lives in Italy. Our goal is to provide them with opportunities to lead independent and normal lives while enabling them to give back to their communities and make valuable contributions to the local economy as well as to rebuild their own futures. A tentative budget for the session can be found at the bottom of the page.


Teen Refugee Integration + Community Building


How do we welcome the world’s displaced citizens into a better shared future? The Artivist Nest is holding a seven day residential program in Monterosi, Italy, hosting ten migrant youth, with the participation of an array of artists, mentors, and social activists. This creative retreat will be led by a team of experienced facilitators with expertise in group dynamics, arts-based facilitation, experiential learning, social change and leadership skills.


The participants will be guided through a process that will support collaboration, community building and self expression. Program to include arts therapies, video production, cross cultural and intergenerational dialogue, story telling, grief and trauma exercises and more.

Outcomes will include increased self-confidence, new found practical skills of creative expression and a strengthened belief in their ability to make positive change in their own lives and in their communities.


Monterosi, Viterbo, Italy​


Villa Farnia


June 2023


+ Ten youth from Italian migrant community


+ Comunita’ di Sant’Egidio, Rome
+ Gani Naylor


+ Selma Turajlic


+ Documentary, Peabody award winning director, Hugo Berkeley


In collaboration with Sant Egidio, a formidable Roman charity with 70 years in service to impoverished, elderly, and displaced residents – The Artivist Nest will welcome 10 migrant youth into its program. Group mentorship sessions will commence in Fall 2021 to welcome, orient, and prepare participants for the June 2022 retreat. One-on-one mentorship will be provided for the following year. Each participant will benefit from the support of the social network created by all involved.


+ Partnership for Youth Empowerment – PYE
+ Elisa Sednaoui Foundation
+ Amazing People of The World – APOW
+ Joanna Macy

We the co founders recognize the delicacy of this subject, and the precarious nature of the politics and feelings each participant lives with. We are acting from personal agency to help in the way we can – aiming to create support, awareness, understanding and possibly some form of change in attitude in the public around the rights and realities of migrants.

We are frustrated by our powerlessness to address the broader and more perfidious issues of war, political violence, diplomatic failure, etc., that cause the state of these refugees at the origin.

We hope that by extending a hand to a group of brave young people, they may get a few steps further, feeling the support of their fellow global citizens, and perhaps inspired to take this work and attitude forward.

BUDGET (Tentative)