The final of the 20 Simple acts for this Refugee Week is to look to the future. At JRS, when we look to the future we look forward in hope. Hope is one of our key values and whilst the difficulty of the present is often distressing and demoralising, we believe and strive toward a very different future for our refugee friends and for our society.
In my work as Community Outreach Officer, my hope for the future is always reinforced by the amazing people I meet with to talk about our work at JRS. This is often particularly the case with the young people I encounter. This Refugee Week, I had the pleasure of being involved in the retreat day for the Year 7 pupils at the Ursuline High School in Wimbledon. To celebrate the week, we asked the girls to look to the future and share their hopes for refugees. Here is a little glimpse of what they had to say:
“I find it sad to hear how people feel they have been categorised. In the future I hope that the government will be able to provide more help to asylum seekers and treat them as any other person.”
“My hope for the future is that the world becomes a safer place and that every immigrant, asylum seeker, refugee and homeless person find a place they can call home.”
“I hope that refugees will be welcomed and accommodated without being forced out of the country. That people will be kind and generous to them and understand their situation, treating them like humans.”
“I hope that refugees are happy and that they get jobs. I hope that they are recognised as their own person with their own names.”
These hopes are shared by those of us involved with JRS’s mission to accompany our refugee friends.
Saint Augustine once wrote: ‘Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are’. This Refugee Week, I pray that a righteous anger at the injustices we see in our world today gives us the courage to respond with the love that will be necessary to build a bright future for our refugee brothers and sisters.