The Scalabrinian Congregation was founded in 1887 by Blessed Bishop John Baptist Scalabrini, in order to accompany millions of Italians who were migrating to the American continent, fleeing from the consequences of the Industrial Revolution and economic crisis in Europe. From the end of the 19th century until post-World War II, the Scalabrinians worked to establish parishes, schools, hospitals, migrant service centers, cultural centers, orphanages, nursing homes, cooperatives, migrant associations and service committees. During the 1960s, the Scalabrinian Congregation extended its mission to all migrants and expanded its outreach worldwide. As a result, the programs and services that help migrants have multiplied, especially for the neediest and most vulnerable migrants, refugees, internally displaced people and seafarers.
The Scalabrinians established the Scalabrini International Migration Network in 2007 to oversee its programs to protect and promote the dignity and the rights of migrants, refugees, internally displaced people, and seafarers across the globe.
As an international leader in integration, protection, research, and advocacy, SIMN provides food, shelter, medical care, psychological counseling, legal assistance, vocational training, job placement, education, and other services to 350,000 people on the move every year; works in 34 countries and five continents; and manages more than 250 Scalabrini entities, including hospitals, migrant welcoming centers, primary schools, research institutions, and employment incubators.
SIMN enjoys ECOSOC consultative status at the United Nations and works closely with the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the World Food Programme (WFP). SIMN also collaborates with local and national partners, including governments.
SIMN is the leading frontline organization responding to the Venezuelan migration crisis in Latin America. According to some estimates, as many as 4 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015. With a unique regional network of 26 welcoming centers in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, the Scalabrinians serve thousands of Venezuelans every year. SIMN funds emergency programs—lodging, food, health care, legal assistance—and long-term employment projects in border communities like Cúcuta, Ipiales, Tacna, and Arica, and major cities like Bogotá, Manaus, Lima, and Santiago.