Italian Language/translation

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Question
Dear Maria,  

My question is about the sentence:
“Vicino alla stazione, c’è un centro di prima accoglienza per persone in difficoltà.”

I have tried to translate this sentence.  I am thinking that the following may be close:
“Near to the station, there is a first help center for persons in difficulty.”

Would you please help me with the following aspects concerning this sentence:

Can you please describe a  “centro di prima accoglienza”.  Is this some type of reception center for visitors?  Is this a central government organization or a local government organization?  I have looked on-line and sometimes see  - “centro di prima accoglienza” and sometimes see “centro di accoglienza” (without the adjective-prima).  Are these two distinct types of centers?  Also, is my literal  translation as “first help center” correct, or is there a better way to say this in English?

Also, is “in difficulty” the best way to translate ‘in difficoltà”.

Thank you very much.  As always, I really appreciate your help and the example sentences you give me to study.  They always help me very much.

Very Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the sentence “Vicino alla stazione, c’è un centro di prima accoglienza per persone in difficoltà” has been translated correctly.

Please note that in Italy a  “centro di prima accoglienza”  is a type of reception center for persons that need help because e.g. they  have escaped from their own country for political, religious, or economic reasons or because of a war, just like sub-Saharan people, Syrians, Egyptians, Afghans, Pakistans, Somalians and Arabs who cross the Mediterranean sea at the risk of losing their life in order to reach Europe so that  almost daily boatloads of irregular immigrants land on our shores, after we Italians have saved them at sea.

This type of reception centre, which can be called both “centro di prima accoglienza” and “centro di accoglienza”,  is a central government organization  where those immigrants can become refugees if they have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
If on the contrary they left their countries for economic reasons, they cannot have the status of refugee in Italy or Europe and thus they must be sent back to their countries.

As for “in difficulty” to translate "in difficoltà”, you could also say “people in need” or “persons who get into difficulties”.

Best regards,

Maria  

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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