Pope urges special consideration to the situation of refugee families

Dewan Camp, Pakistan Photographer: © Carlo Heathcote/Oxfam

The following is an excerpt from the report on Vatican Radio on Pope Francis' appeal regarding refugees during the 'general audience' on Wednesday 19th June, a day before World Refugee Day (20th June). You may view the entire feature and listen to an audio report here.

Pope Francis has spoken about World Refugee Day , which falls Thursday June 20th, making an impassioned appeal for people and institutions around the world to come to the aid of the countless families forced to flee their homelands because of violence and persecution.

Speaking Wednesday to the tens of thousands of pilgrims who had queued since dawn to take part in the weekly general audience, Pope Francis said: “Tomorrow we will celebrate World Refugee Day. This year we are invited to give special consideration to the situation of refugee families, often forced to leave their home and their homeland quickly, to leave all they own and every security, to flee from violence, persecution or grave discrimination on religious, ethnic or political grounds.

In addition to the dangers of the journey, often these families risk disintegration and, in the country that receives them, having to deal with cultures and societies that different from their own. We cannot be insensitive to the families and to all our brothers and sisters refugees: we are called to help them, opening up to understanding and hospitality. May people and institutions around the world never fail to assist them: their face, is the face of Christ!”

Read full feature here 


PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION

The Jesuit Refugee Service is organising a photographic exhibition to mark World Refugee Day, entitled 'Life through my lens', an exhibition open to the public between 20 - 26 June at The Atrium, St James Cavalier, Valletta.

Opening times: 
Monday and Tuesday 09.00hrs to 17.00hrs
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 09.00hrs to 21.00hrs
Saturday and Sunday 10.00hrs to 21.00hrs 

'Life through my lens' is a rare insight into the daily struggles and celebrations faced by refugees currently living in Malta. The final 25 images, which were taken over a 12 month period by four individuals, although very different form ech other, share common themes representing:

  • Starting Life
  • Work
  • Family
  • Community
  • Faith

The images exhibited also reflect the findings of a research project recently carried out by JRS Europe, clearly showing that refugees do not only need protection from being sent back to face persecution or other threats to their safety, but like everyone else, they also need to be with their families, to have adequate housing, employment, the support of a community and the possibility to live with dignity.

For them, as for us, it is these things that give life meaning, allowing them to become part of our community and build life anew.

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