World Day of Migrants and Refugees – Striving to realise Pope’s visionSunday 26th September 2021
How Caritas Diocese of Salford encourages communities “to advance together towards an ever wider ‘we’.”
“…we are all in the same boat and called to work together so that there will be no more walls to separate us, no longer others, but only a single ‘we’, encompassing all of humanity…to advance together towards an ever wider ‘we’.”
(Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2021).
Since the creation of its Refugee Response Team in 2016, Caritas Diocese of Salford has pioneered ways of welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating refugees, and those seeking asylum into life in our diocese.
The charity provides practical support, assistance and education to those arriving in the UK fleeing war, famine and poverty. Through its Community Sponsorship programme, Caritas supports parishes and communities to safely resettle refugee families in accordance with the government-sponsored and UNHCR-facilitated scheme.
To prepare for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees back in June, Caritas organised a webinar entitled “Towards An Ever Wider “We”, taking its title from the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the day.
The webinar was an invitation to gain an understanding of the current realities and how the social teaching of the Catholic Church can lead us to advocate for a future of justice and peace, accelerating the process of working “Towards An Ever Wider “We”, envisioned by Pope Francis.
It also highlighted the undignified and often unjust processes which refugees and asylum seekers face from the time of their arrival in the UK, highlighting many of the concerns with the UK government’s New Plan For Immigration (NPFI).
Accompanying the webinar was a short film telling the experience of families who have been supported by Caritas Salford through the Community Sponsorship scheme and our Refugee Education Service. This highlights the significant positive impact of the support Caritas Salford receives from around the diocese to help sustain and transform the lives of those we welcome.
Responding to the needs of refugees from Afghanistan
Recent events in Afghanistan highlight the continuing urgency of Caritas’ work and the charity has been inundated with generous donations to support those in need.
World Day of Migrants and Refugees seems a very appropriate moment to provide a brief update on how Caritas Salford continues to inspire a shared commitment to “advance together towards an ever wider “we”’:
How Caritas supports migrants, refugees and asylum seekers today:
• Caritas continues to work very closely with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Lancashire Refugee Resettlement Team and other agencies to meet the immediate needs of Afghan nationals who have been recently evacuated.
• The charity has harnessed spiritual and practical support for refugees from our Catholic community, including co-ordinating the collection of essential donated items, providing tools to enable parishioners to write to their MP and/or local authority and directing financial donations to where they are most needed.
• Its commitment to all refugees and asylum seekers through its Refugee Response Service including the Refugee Education Service, continues to flourish. For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Our colleagues at Caritas Salford are signposting help to schools who are welcoming refugee children and continue to inspire and train young people to become activists for justice and put the social teaching of the Church into practice through the Schools’ Caritas Ambassador Programme. Contact email@example.com
• Continuation of work with parishes and groups who wish to welcome refugees as part of the Community Sponsorship of Refugees Programme.
To see a case study prepared by the UNCHR reflecting one of the groups, click here.
For further information, head to the Caritas website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Continued collaboration with members of other Diocesan Caritas organisations across England and Wales to co-ordinate our collective response on behalf of the Catholic Church.
How you can support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers today
ACT It is essential that elected officials and executive officers act to protect and promote human dignity. Legislation currently going through parliament undermines this. You can write to your MP using this template.
GIVE If you would like to make a financial gift for medium or long-term support and integration of refugee families from Afghanistan, please go visit our information page for the Afghanistan appeal.
To support the charity’s ongoing work with all refugees and asylum seekers, please click here.