We CAN stand in solidarity
Two weeks of community solidarity with people seeking asylum
CAPSA invites you to this year’s National Week of Prayer and Action to be held between 20 – 31st August 2018.
As a practical expression of Pope Francis’ message to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees (recently distributed by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office in their toolkit to promote Migrant and Refugee week), we are asking for your support in facilitating action.
From the 20th – 31st August CAPSA members and supporters will join with schools across the country to advocate and raise awareness for people seeking asylum in our communities.
We are focusing activities on the recent cuts to basic material and case management support for people seeking asylum. The Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) includes basic income support, access to some case management, and access to torture and trauma counselling. Between the 9th and 16th of August approximately 1500 individuals and families who are seeking asylum will lose this support. An estimated 5000 more will lose this same basic support before the end of the year.
Both the broader and Catholic community are already trying to work out how we can respond to this humanitarian crisis. We will focus on actions asking individuals to consider what a roof over our heads means, and imagining ourselves in the situation where our income is cut off indefinitely.
WE CAN help with practical assistance and WE CAN also advocate for respect for human dignity and this support to be reinstated. This week of prayer and action will build on the collective voice to the many who are already protesting these cuts, inspire others to take action and give a clear message to government that the Catholic community wants to see the human dignity of people and their needs respected.
CAPSA has put together some clear and simple actions you, your parish, your students, or your colleagues can participate in during these weeks. Please don’t feel that these are your only options, be as creative as you wish, or modify these to suite your situation. The CAPSA team are on hand to support in any way we can! We will collate actions from across the country and make our voice heard.
We are all responsible for what our government does in our name. We must let them know we want positive change.
- ’30 Days Notice’ reflection activity: How would you feel if you were given 30 days notice before your sole source of income was cut? How would you look after yourself, or your family? Get your class, workplace, or parish to complete this activity and we will deliver your reflection to key politicians and policy makers. The more the better!
- Host a Circle of Silence: This is a vigil-type event where students and/or staff gather in a silent circle to recognise the injustice faced by many refugees and people seeking asylum. This can be as public or as private as you wish. Take a photo and CAPSA will bring these actions together. Great at lunchtime at school, or before/after mass.
- Class/Assembly outside: Students and staff can act in solidarity for those who will no long have a #roofovermyhead, due to losing their SRSS support.
- Arrange a Speaking Event or Forum: Invite speakers along to give insight for students to what the refugee process is like in Australia. Consider combining this with a large school photo or a letter writing campaign
- Pray for Refugees, Migrants, and those seeking asylum: We can reflect and be present together or alone.
- Coordinate your own activity and let us know what you are doing via the registration form or email.
- Sign the CAPSA Petition regarding SRSS cuts
- Sign up for CAPSA updates and calls to action: Put your details in the form (scroll down to the bottom of this webpage) to stay in touch and be a part of coordinated efforts across the country.
Check out our video from previous year’s week of prayer and action:
We have collated a number of resources to support you and your school to participate in this week of prayer and action:
Information about the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) and the cuts.
Basic information put together by the CAPSA team about the Status Resolution Support Service, and recent policy changes.
Article on compassion
Fr Andy Hamilton outlines the importance why we should be encouraged in ‘doing all we can to ensure that children who need protection receive it, and that our nation treats all children in need compassionately and decently’.
Call to action for SRSS
CAPSA is ready and available to coordinate efforts across the Catholic community to help those affected by these changes. Join the Catholic community as we raise awareness about our shared response to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate people who are seeking asylum in Australia.
CAPSA General Resource Pack
This pack includes links to factsheets, petitions, prayers, speakers, curriculum packs, books, stories & films – useful to develop class activities have conversations in your school at every level.
You can download the Migrant & Refugee Booklet by ACMRO which contains Pope Francis’ address for the 104th world day of Migrants and Refugees and other relevant reflections and prayers.
Recent videos to share with students from Refugee Council of Australia.
TELLING THE STORY
Part of our work is to tell the story of this important week(s) of prayer and action to the broader community and Government. The best way we can do this is if you send us a photo of your event or action, and if a student, staff or parishioner are willing to be a media point of contact, let us know!
We of course will only engage with media where you have given us explicit approval to do so – please indicate this in the registration form.
We want schools to know that we put the interests and needs of students before anything else. Engaging with media, of any sort, would only be pursued with complete support from schools. Our aim here is to promote positive conversations in the broader community about how we treat refugees and people seeking asylum as a community. CAPSA will provide media support for all schools who are open to media engagement.