#refugeeweekreflections – CAPSA’s reflections for Refugee Week 2023

Miss any of CAPSA’s #refugeeweekreflections this year on social media? Don’t worry! We’ve included them all below for easy access and future use. 

Day 1: Compassion 

“At the sight of the crowds, Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest =to send out laborers for his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38 

Do I have the heart of the shepherd? Am I moved with compassion for people who suffer and feel abandoned like the millions of refugees worldwide? 

Day 2: Finding freedom – the theme for Refugee Week 
Freedom can mean living without fear of war or persecution and having basic human rights respected. As the Refugee Council notes, Everyday millions of people across the world embark on dangerous journeys for the sole purpose of finding safety and freedom.” 
What does “Freedom” mean to you? How valuable is that for you? Can you imagine losing it? Can you walk in the shoes of people who have lost their freedom due to war and poverty? 

Day 3: Bridges not Walls 
From Pope Francis’s message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees: 
‘“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Mt 25:35-36’ 
These words are a constant admonition to show maximum respect for the dignity of each migrant. This entails accompanying and managing waves of migration as best we can, constructing bridges and not walls, expanding channels for a safe and regular migration. In whatever place we decide to build our future, the important thing is that there always be a community ready to welcome, protect, promote and integrate everyone.” 
What words in this message do you find especially important? 

Day 4: Outrage 
“It is outrageous that our country punishes people who have done nothing except come to us in trust that we will listen to their story and give them protection. They believed we are a decent nation, and we would like to be that nation. So, the outrage is for justice for asylum seekers, and for us as we mourn our country’s loss of shame and loss of decency.” 
Brigid Arthur – co-founder of Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project 
If you feel this outrage, what ways has it already led you (or could lead you in the future) to providing support or challenging the status quo?

Day 5: Action 
The Cambridge dictionary notes, “When you do something to achieve something or deal with a problem, you take action.” We could also say, from experience of the situation of people seeking asylum and refugees in Australia, the problem will persist if we do not take action. While some improvements have been made recently, we still have many people detained offshore and many in Australia who are struggling in many ways. 
Consider what is within your capacity to do, if you are not already active – letter writing, talking to others about the situation, hosting a round table to help people become informed. 

Day 6: Hope 
“Without some hope we would not be here. A value that rarely gets mentioned is stickatedness! Hope comes because we know there are so many good people everywhere – in the halls of Parliament, in the groups like Grandmothers for Refugees and Rural Australians for Refugees and hundreds of small justice groups and all of us here today – all with one intent, to stop the cruelty to people asking for help.” 
Brigid Arthur – co-founder of Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project 
In the face of the ongoing cruelty to some people, what do you do to maintain hope and energy for the support they need?