As we emerge from a week focused on celebrating refugees, how will we continue to live out the values of a welcoming community?
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Refugees are here in Australia because they are seeking protection and safety, however instead of welcome and hospitality they often face increased prejudice. Christians are commanded to protect the imago dei by extending a hand of welcome to refugees and people seeking asylum in our communities.
This week is very special to me and to many others. It is the #RefugeeWeek and the theme for this year is the #YearofWelcome. I thought to write something that reflects what I feel when we mention welcome beside the word of refugee. For me I would like to see:
A year of welcome to policies that stands with everyone and not to leave anyone behind.
A year of welcome to the marginalised communities by giving rights and essential access to services.
A year of welcome to offer employment for people with no local working experience.
A year of welcome to end years of dilemma for people seeking asylum.
A year of welcome to make refugees real leaders in different platforms, not only followers.
A year of welcome to introduce a new Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI), providing an opportunity for Australian communities to tangibly contribute to refugee resettlement
A year of welcome to make a bigger global impact in the global refugee crisis.
A year of welcome to influence the mainstream media to explore positive refugee narratives
Refugees are a special addition to any resettlement country. Beside celebrating one only week per year; let us have a real welcome to refugees all over the year.
In Refugee Week, we seek to listen and learn from the voices of refugees and people seeking asylum. The National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG) is a refugee led entity that aims to create spaces, platforms and strong voices led by former refugees, people from refugee-like backgrounds and people seeking asylum.
Consider making a donation to an organisation near you who are providing support to refugees and people seeking asylum. Some options to consider are: Romero Centre (QLD), CARAD (WA), the Welcoming Centre (SA), Asylum Seeker Resource Centre or RISE (VIC), Asylum Seekers Centre or House of Welcome (NSW), Melaleuca Refugee Centre (NT), Migrant Resource Centre (TAS).
Share what you learn in a comment on today’s Common Grace Facebook post or write your own post using the hashtag #RefugeeWeek2020.
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