No Giving Up: stories of unfinished journeys

No Giving Up, a publication launched by JRS Malta today at an event at San Anton Palace under the patronage of her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, recounts the experience of six Somali women who are seeking asylum in Malta.

Through this publication the women voice their fears, but also their dreams. They speak about the reasons they left their country and the challenges they faced throughout their journey, which is as yet unfinished. They make a strong appeal to our solidarity as they persist in their search for protection and for a life of freedom and dignity.

“In my country my rights were violated, I could not go to school, I could not choose who to marry. My life was not mine but dictated by someone else. In the desert, it was the same, and here too I find myself in the same situation, in detention, without any control over my life, at the dictates and mercy of someone else… If I am to be respected, first I need to be free, free from the bars surrounding me, free from being controlled by someone else, free to run my life.”

The booklet is the outcome of group sessions held by JRS Malta with Somali women in detention and immediately following their release, between April and October 2014. The process was facilitated by JRS, but the messages are theirs alone.

For us at JRS this project allowed us to gain deeper insight into the women’s experience of seeking asylum in Malta. It helped us to see their situation from their perspective and to understand better what they are searching for.  Getting a precious document is the alpha and omega of their quest. For them this longed for ‘document’ is the key to the possibility to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL, to have the support they need to live in dignity and self-sufficiency, to develop their potential, to be with and to be able to look after their families, to belong to the community where they live, to give and take.

The project also helped us to see what we do from a different viewpoint – that of the people we serve – and it challenged us evaluate the services we offer to make them more effective. We believe the women’s experience, though subjective, could help other service providers to do the same.

No Giving Up can be downloaded here.

For copies of the report contact: info@jrsmalta.org



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