A smile is the universal welcome


A smile is the universal welcome

One of our new volunteers reflects on her first day volunteering at our Day Cente

25 November 2016

A smile is the universal welcome



My name is Simona, I am from Rome where I worked for Centro Astalli, the Italian Country Office of the JRS. Having such a formative and emotional work experience that helped me to grow up personally and professionally. It was not just about job, it was about feelings and relationships between people.

Meeting refugees and listening their stories of life helped me to look the reality from a different point. Many people with different stories and background but all of them with the same courage and the same desire in a better life.

I moved to London a few months ago and I started looking for the best opportunity to continue being helpful for all those vulnerable people who have to flee from their countries. Giving them a proper welcome and returning the dignity that they deserve as human beings.

Last week, I began my volunteering experience with the JRS in London supporting the weekly Day Centre on Thursdays. What I most enjoyed is the familiar and warm atmosphere in which every refugee is treated with joy and respect. I spent the whole day meeting nice and friendly people, chattering with some of them, having a cup of tea and doing my best to make them feel comfortable and welcomed as much as possible.

The first thing I have noticed is the attention to details. Every little act is important to ensure to each guest the right attention and care.  The JRS staff and all volunteers work closely together to give back to each refugee hope and trust in the future and I am so proud to be part of it.

I recommend to everyone to spend a bit of time listening and helping people in need because by volunteering  you receive much more than you give in terms of feelings, indeed.

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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