Jesuit Refugee Service Australia has teamed up with Refugee Council of Australia to create a programme that gives young people the chance to meet a refugee and hear first hand the reasons why people are forced to flee their homes.
“We’re seeing the biggest migration crisis since WWII, and yet, it’s not the voices of those being forced to flee their homes we hear, but the voices of the powerful. At JRS we believe this needs to change,” said JRS Australia in its website.
Through the JRS Voices Programme, students are given the opportunity to examine the situation of forcibly displaced people on the global level, and to critically examine Australia’s response, while also identifying ways they can actively be involved in alleviating the crisis.
“We believe it’s important to educate the next generation of leaders about these issues so they can enact positive change on behalf of people who find themselves forcibly displaced. People who often find themselves not only without a home, but, without a voice,” said JRS. “Now more than ever, all our voices are needed to tell people seeking asylum, and indeed, the entire world that we stand by them and defend their rights to safe and dignified living.”
JRS hopes that hearing the voices of refugees will inspire young people to lend their voices to the pubic debate, something all Christians have been called to do. As stated in Proverbs 31:8-9, we have been asked to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” [JRS Australia]