World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Sunday 29th September 2019

The rise of social media has brought many benefits, but we are now becoming increasingly aware of the damage it is also doing to our society. Divisions in our society are magnified by accounts spreading harmful and fake ‘news’ and we have lost some of the distance between us and this news.

Whether we like it or not, it is now being directly reported into devices we hold in our hands and it is becoming harder to find that moment of peace and calm in our noisy world.

This onslaught of information can sometimes be overwhelming, prompting us to step back and become desensitised, or even fearful, of the world around us.

What we need to remember is that behind the news, the pictures and the statistics, there are people who have stories and plans for their families just like us.

Around the world millions of people are facing displacement due to war, natural disaster and persecution, being forced to flee their homes to reach safety.

Sometimes the fear of the unknown can paralyse us, preventing us from taking action to live openly and with kindness.  It is then we have a choice to look inwards and decide to transform our fear into hope, we can embrace the new opportunities that people can bring.

Here in Manchester, many people have made this choice to live with hope and welcome the stranger by supporting local community projects working with refugees and migrants.

Volunteers from Caritas Diocese of Salford are helping to teach refugees and migrants in our city the English language, helping them to meet people and integrate into society more easily.

They’re not alone. REVIVE Salford is another project supported by volunteers and working with refugees and migrants in our community.  Revive hosts drop in services which, as well as offering specialist advocacy, offer friendship and community to those living in the area.

Volunteers share everyday activities with service users, working to grow vegetables in an allotment project, attend employability workshops and hold social groups for young adults helping to empower and welcome people to the community.

This Sunday is World Day of Migrants and Refugees.  On this day let us remember the person behind the headlines, rediscover our shared humanity and walk with our new neighbours on their journey.

In our diocese, Caritas Salford works in solidarity with other Catholic, voluntary and statutory organisations to offer support and a Refugee Response service.  Find out more about that and how you can help here

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