During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis challenges communities by inviting all to pray as well as doing something concrete to assist refugees and migrants.
We cannot remain indifferent when, around the world there are more than 43.3 million forcibly displaced people, 27.1 million are internally displaced (IDP) and 15.6 million are refugees. South Africa has one of the largest numbers of refugees and asylum seekers on the continent with about 170 000 recognised refugees and almost 800 thousand asylum seekers, who are still waiting for their applications for refugees’ status to be finalised. Here is the opportunity to get together and take concrete actions of faith to support those in need.
The Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees every day receives many families in desperate need. How to help them? How to change the extreme poverty and suffering? Many children are out of school. How to help them to be included in the education system?
We witness how the refugees come to our office in need of food, blankets, clothes, shoes, coats, scarves, hats, toiletries and stationary. People can assist by take these to their parishes or to the Chancery from where they will be distributed during home visitations or to cases in need.
On 19 June, the department celebrated World Refugee Day at St Patrick’s, La Rochelle with people from all over the world. It was indeed a very beautiful moment to pray and to share our experiences together.
The department wants to thank Bienvenu Shelter, Jesuit Refugee Services, Justice and Peace that every year work together to prepare the activities for the day.