he Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees and the parishes in the Archdiocese are still in the spirit of the World Refugee Day. The Pope invited all communities to pray and reflect about the “Minor migrant and refugees -the vulnerable and the voiceless”. According to UNICEF 65 million children around the world are on the move running from conflict, poverty and extreme weather. They are searching for a better life and a place to call “home”. They are among the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, numbers have been increasing. It becomes more and more a challenge for all humanity.
During the World Refugee Week, in the Archdiocese, we had the opportunity to participate in different workshops and events. The main debate and formation linked to the issues concerning the life of children.
The various activities confirm that they are the most vulnerable. Many of them are out of school due to lack of documents and therefore stateless.
Pastoral Care, with other organisations like the Bienvenu Shelter, the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, continue to be concerned especially about the reality of migrant and refugee women and children.
The focus goes in particular to those without documents for they become vulnerable victims to trafficking, abuse and exploitation. Their families often find themselves victims of discrimination, poverty and social marginalisation.
We continue the same challenge that Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini found in his life and ministry: “How to put a remedy to this situation”. He referred to the many migrants he met. Today, we still facing the same reality: family and children who become the victims.
We are challenged to assist the minor migrant and refugee children. We see the need to integrate them in our society; to be positive actors in the process of social inclusion and for better social cohesion.
The Department of Pastoral Care with these organisations are committed to empower the children with their families and assist them to build a better society.
Schooling, legal assistance for documentation, accommodation and emergency support are among the many services provided to help the children to build up their lives in a dignified way. Become involved through the representatives to Pastoral Care in all parishes.
Sr Maria de Lurdes mscs
HOD Department of Pastoral Care and Migrants