Material provided by Jesuit Refugee Service
Life for refugees is tough. In addition to trauma that caused them to flee their own country, the hardship of
the journey itself and the grief brought by loss of friends, family, aspects of identity and livelihood, the
route to gain recognition as a refugee in the UK is fraught with difficulty and hostility.
Those whom the asylum system fails to recognise as refugees are likely to face periods of destitution
leaving them dependent on charities and others for basic support to survive. They may also be detained
under immigration rules which in the UK place no set time limit on length of incarceration.
The uncertainty and prolonged nature of their limbo causes severe anxiety. The social isolation is
exacerbated further by public attitudes towards asylum seekers. Wider society is thus impoverished for not
allowing itself to be touched by refugees’ lives.
However, there is much we can do to create communities of hospitality and spaces of welcome for
JRS UK wish to encourage communities where all, including refugees, can participate, where compassion
can create unexpected connections and where generosity is practiced - communities in which relationships
and friendships deepen understanding of what it is to be a human being in its fullest sense.
Action: Help JRS UK to create communities of hospitality
Inform yourself: How can work with organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers where you
areto create a welcoming and hospitable community?
Share: get your community together and share something - a cup of tea, a meal, a story, a joke, a new idea.
Attend: a refugee week event <http://refugeeweek.org.uk/events/> in your area or your community. If
there isn’t one happening where you are, create one! There are some great tips on the refugee week events
Pray: Lord Jesus, Give us courage to accompany others, for in walking at their side we find you
there present with us.
Give us joy that we might serve others, for in tending wounds of those who
suffer, we sense your healing grace at work in us.
Give us wisdom as we advocate for others, for in defending the downtrodden
we hear your voice speak up for us.
Grant that in all we do, we may give you glory Lord; we return all we have in love
to you, for you have given everything to us.