Mercoledì 16 Gennaio 2019 | 21:04

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Rome

>>>ANSA/ Survivors of Garissa massacre to study in Perugia

Foreign Ministry grants 11 Kenyans a nine-month scholarship

>>>ANSA/ Survivors of Garissa massacre to study in Perugia

Rome, January 13 - Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Wednesday welcomed at Rome's Fiumicino a group of 11 Kenyan students who survived last April's massacre at Garissa University. The students will spend nine months at Perugia's University for Foreigners thanks to an Italian foreign ministry grant. "The cultural response is fundamental when faced with terrorism," Gentiloni said as he welcomed the students, six young women and five men. "We wanted to give this signal immediately after the Garissa attack in which terrorism killed 147 people to show how cooperation with students from that university could be a response to terrorism". The attackers were from the Al-Shabaab Somali Islamist militant group. Kenya's Ambassador to Italy, Josephine Wangari Gaita, was also present when the group arrived. "I thank Italy for giving these young people the chance to continue their studies in a peaceful environment," Wangari Gaita said. "I'm certain they will make us proud. God bless them and bless Italy and Kenya". Gentiloni said he hopes the students will "fall in love with our country and go back to their country to put to work what they'll be studying in this period". The 11 students will take a nine-month Italian language course from January to September 2016, to then enrol in a degree program during the 2016-2017 academic year. Each year, the foreign ministry offers more than 500 scholarships to foreign students from 100 countries. For the current academic year, Italy awarded three scholarships to Kenyan citizens as well as the extra 11 grants dedicated exclusively to the Garissa attack survivors. One of the students, 20-year-old Nyna Kozel Nomzamo, called the scholarship opportunity "a new beginning". Nomzamo was awoken by the sound of gunshots the morning of the attacks. "I personally hope this will be an opportunity for my future and a source of inspiration for others," she said. "It doesn't matter what you have to face, the important thing is staying on your feet and continuing to walk".

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