From Today’s Daily Mass Readings:
“They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention …”
As we journey through Lent, we introduce you to some of the refugees JRS accompanies. The mass readings today have strong words for those who use rules to oppress unjustly. Where do his words resonate with the story we hear today?
In detention everything is unknown. You don’t know how long you will be there and you don’t know what the outcome will be. Detention centres are often close to airports and so you can hear the planes fly overhead. Will you be removed on one of these flights, forced back to a country you are afraid of? Or will you be lucky and will you be released? There is no time limit on how long you can be held in detention, so you may be there for weeks, months or even years. Some people like Therese have experienced detention before. She said: “It is very stressful. You try to stay positive and think you will be out very soon. But some have been there for months or years
For Therese the time spent in detention was time lost. Like many of our refugee friends, the experience had a long lasting impact on Therese’s well-being, even after she was released. “Years are wasted and you cannot regain the strength”
“It’s very frustrating to be in detention. I think they need to close that place.”
Join us tomorrow where we will rejoin Therese on her journey.
Therese’s story is real, however we have changed her name to protect her privacy.
At JRS UK our mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcible displaced persons. We ground our advocacy work in our experiences of accompaniment so that the changes we strive for have direct benefits on those refugees we work with.
Today we invite you to support our work by writing to your local MP expressing concern over the current immigration detention system. Join JRS UK as we call for an end to indefinite detention and a move towards community based alternatives. On our website you can find a template structure for a letter to your MP.
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JRS UK are grateful to Therese for sharing her story with us. Please do not reproduce without permission.
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