Our volunteer Liliane visited Romania from 13th to 15th Oct to take part in a JRS meeting. She kindly answered for an interview after the trip.
Q: Tell me about the event in Romania. What was the occasion?
Liliane: It was JRS Europe Annual General Meeting. The topic was Accompaniment this year. In the workshop, JRS staff and volunteers from all around Europe participated. From our JRS UK, Jonathan, Kate, Sr Margaret and I participated.
Q: What did do you and learn?
L: During the three days, we looked around a hostel for asylum seekers run by the city council in Bucharest, attended workshops, and visited JRS Romania main office, ‘My place’ as they call it. And we had a chance to see the sights and to have meals out to enjoy each other’s company. We also had a Mass together on the last day of our visit.
In one of the workshop sessions, we were divided into small groups and discussed. Afterwards we had presentations. In the first workshop, the questions were what the difficulties we face in our working places were, why they were difficult, and how we solved the issues.
We also listened to the differentprocesses of welcoming refugees in various countries and we talked about how to accompany others. I learned, in order to accompany them, we need to be passionate and listening to them attentively.
I could see that different countries have different situations. I met one refugee who was complaining about the lengthy process he had to undergo, but I told him that in some other places, it could be worse.
I also saw that JRS Romania was doing many good works.For example, they run language courses, help the refugees to obtain citizenship and accommodation, and give legal advice. It is possible because they have many staff members.
Q: How did you feel about this trip and what did you like most?
L: I was very excited about this trip because it was the first of such a kind of trip in ten years. It was great to meet people from different backgrounds and to share our works with each other. I learned a lot. And the place we stayed was also very nice.
Q: Finally, anything you would like to say?
L: Well, I really enjoyed the trip and am grateful to JRS for giving me this opportunity. I am also proud of our JRS UK for what we do. Thank you very much.
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