Monday of the 1st week of Lent, 19th February

Lenten Journeys

Monday of the 1st week of Lent, 19th February

Koffi came to the UK seeking safety and welcome

19 February 2018

Monday of the 1st week of Lent, 19th February

From Today’s Gospel:

“I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
Matthew 25:31-46

As we journey through Lent we will introduce you to some of the refugees that JRS accompanies. Christ identifies himself with the one who is excluded. Where do you see his face?

Koffi’s Storry

This week we will introduce you to Koffi, one of our refugee friends who is currently part of our At Home hosting scheme.

Koffi arrived in the UK seeking safety and welcome after fleeing conflict in Western Africa. However, the asylum process that greeted him is purposefully biased towards his refusal, he explains “the system just keeps you running. They sometimes ask you for proof when they know you can’t have this proof; it is impossible. It’s like a game.

During their initial asylum claim, refugees are provided with basic government support including housing. Koffi was based in Southall but conditions were cramped in a room he had to share, “you are running to the safer place and you realise the safer place is worse than behind. It’s like you are on the tail of the dragon and you run to the mouth now.

Being an asylum seeker is not a morning decision, it is not you wake up today and decide to be an asylum seeker. These things happen in your life and this thing maybe happen to me, but tomorrow it could be you. Even Christ Jesus was a refugee. God sent Christ to save us and he was a refugee because his life was under threat. It’s a matter of everyone.
Join us tomorrow as we continue our journey with Koffi


Many of those who JRS UK accompany, like Koffi,  have been seeking asylum in the UK for several years. The system for recognising who is and isn’t a refugee has many problems, as those inspecting the system have pointed out. Once refused, things get even worse as asylum seekers find themselves subject to a range of measures known as, ‘the hostile environment agenda’, which makes resolving their situation more complicated and can make it difficult to access vital services, particularly housing and healthcare.


Today we invite you to learn more about the realities for those seeking asylum in the UK and the challenges they face. Inform yourself and reflect on the difficulties that day to day life can pose for those who come to Britain seeking safety and sanctuary.

[Read Sophie’s blog about the hostile environment]


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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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