From Today’s Daily Mass Readings:
Throughout Lent, we invite you to journey with some of the refugees accompanied by JRS. As you read their story, join with them in in solidarity as they face many trials.
The relationships that Hassan-Ali has developed at the Day Centre have made a big difference at a time which was otherwise empty of support: “… the staff, both the employees and the volunteers, treat me and the other refugees as members of their family or as if we are their long-term friends“. Through friendships made at the Day Centre, Hassan-Ali has seen that there are many people working to help him, who care about finding a solution to his situation, even if he feels the government do not. ” … they talk to each refugee to find out how they and their family are coping, and try to sympathise with them and find a solution to their ongoing problems.”
Many of the refugees served by JRS UK often struggle for a long time to receive recognition by the Home Office. But even momentary relief can help them to keep moving on their journey to obtain eventual protection: “Despite having a stressful life and being fearful of an uncertain future, … I start to feel happy and extremely relaxed whenever I walk into the Centre on Thursdays.”
Hassan-Ali’s story is real, however we have changed his name to protect his privacy.
With important medical and legal appointments, it is important that asylum seekers are able to travel around. However with no source of income, a larger portion of what little money refused asylum seekers have has to spent on travel. At JRS UK we provide small cash grants that allow those refugees we serve to travel around London. When the money runs out we know that most are forced to walk very long distances.
What would it be like for you if your usual mode of transport were not available? Today, we invite you, where possible, to fast from the mode of transport you usually rely on. Can you get off the bus a stop earlier and walk, or leav your car and get public transport today? As you manage with a slightly less comfortable journey, what do you notice? In this time of fasting reflect on how much of an extra struggle walkling everywhere can add to the life of those seeking asylum.
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