Caritas organisations around the world are organising a week of shared meals and activities with migrants and refugees around World Refugee Day.
The Global Week of Action from 17-24th June is part of the two-year Share the Journey campaign. The campaign aims to promote dialogue and understanding between communities and migrants and refugees.
“We invite you to sit down together with migrants and refugees in your community, to look into their eyes, listen to their stories and to share your own,” says Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis.
“Our journeys start with a moment of sharing which helps us recognise the bonds which bind the whole of humanity together. We are invited to have compassion and courage to open our hearts and minds to the people we don’t yet know and to share the journey with them.”
Caritas organisations in all regions are planning shared meals and events. Caritas Internationalis along with Caritas Rome and Italy will hold a meal with migrants and refugees at their Termini Station soup kitchen on Tuesday 19th June.
The Share the Journey campaign has seen Caritas organisations, religious and other organisations create hundreds of moments of encounter and of support with migrants and refugees. Some examples of the initiatives, which are aimed at bringing communities closer together with migrants and refugees, include:
- Social experiments such as “My Mirror” where strangers are invited to look into each other’s eyes to bring down barriers by Caritas Ambrosiana in Milan.
- The creation of Share the Journey socks by Catholic Relief Services in the United States.
- Caritas Cyprus promotes the sharing of handbags full of essential toiletries with women refugees.
Pope Francis launched the Share the Journey campaign to an audience of tens of thousands at Saint Peter’s Square in September 2017. During the launch, the Pope reminded everyone that not only migrants are on a journey, but also the communities which they leave and which receive them. The Holy Father reminded us that hope is the cornerstone of our physical and spiritual journeys.
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