June 16, 2016
A refugee from Central African Republic who attends the JRS school in Cameroon (Denis Bosnic / Jesuit Refugee Service)
(Rome) June 16, 2016 – This World Refugee Day (Monday, June 20) Jesuit Refugee Service calls upon all of us not only to provide refugees with a safe place to stay, but with opportunities to grow and contribute to society. To truly protect means keeping people safe from all evils, including poverty, isolation, exploitation, misconception and neglect. For this reason, this year JRS is using the theme, Open minds, unlock potential.
On April 19, in a video message, Pope Francis told JRS to continue walking with refugees. On June 20, JRS will be releasing a short video with the words of Pope Francis and of refugees worldwide telling – in their words – what being a refugee actually means.
"When I hear people use the word 'refugee' or 'foreigner', it just makes me realize then how people won't accept me for who I am,” said Valerie, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “They know I'm a refugee, but they make it sound like a bad thing."
We must genuinely open ourselves, our minds and our communities to unlock our potential as a society. On World Refugee Day, for the Jubilee year, let's take the opportunity to mobilize our compassion and put our mercy in motion.