Refugee Week 2014 - Caritas Australia

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Transcript Refugee Week 2014 - Caritas Australia

Raising awareness about the issues affecting refugees around the world.

This year’s theme is

“Restoring Hope.”


As of December 2012, the number of people displaced by persecution and conflict was estimated by UNHCR to be

45.2 million

– 28.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), 15.4 million refugees and 937,000 asylum seekers.

Australia was ranked


for total number of refugees hosted (30,083),


in terms of refugees per capita and


for number of refugees hosted relative to total GDP.

Main countries of origin


Top hosting countries


Video – 4mins

Would Jesus discriminate?

He touched lepers, who were regarded as ‘unclean’.

He ate with ‘tax collectors and sinners’.

He told the story of a Samaritan, a people hated by Jews, as an example of neighbourly love, and said:

“Go, and do the same

yourself.” (Luke 10:37)


Faith in action

Caritas Australia and our partners support a number of projects for refugees in countries such as Syria, South Sudan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Burma/ Myanmar.

These programs are often linked to emergency appeals, and include the provision of emergency goods such as food, shelter, water, healthcare, counselling and support for the families of those affected.

Case Study: 3 years of the Syria Crisis

Ongoing conflict in Syria has led to

one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today

. The Syrian crisis has killed more than 115,000, and over 9.3 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Caritas Australia is providing

urgent humanitarian support

to Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Zahaya’s Story

Earlier this year, Zahaya, 21, her husband, Karim, and their one year old son fled over 600km from Syria to Lebanon to take refuge from the humanitarian crisis.

They took several buses and made attempts to cross at three different borders.

There are over 3.8 million Syrian refugees today. Many live in tents in refugee camps in neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon, where Zahaya and her family are.

“It is very difficult to live here in a tent. […] We have no shower or bath here. We have no running water or

electricity,” says Zahaya.

“As a mother, it is difficult to manage my family here.”

Zahaya’s house was demolished by bombs in April 2013.

“We had nothing, only the clothes we were wearing. We knew it was time to leave.”

The Caritas network is providing critical food, shelter and living supplies to Zahaya and her family, along with thousands of other refugees like them.

Faith in action



: - The Sudan region has been beset with conflict for decades. Fighting has continued even after South Sudan separated from Sudan in July 2011. Conflict escalated significantly in December 2013 in parts of South Sudan. In response, Caritas Australia is contributing to a coordinated international effort to help the many civilians forced to flee their homes.

Faith in action



- The Bhutanese Refugee Education Program provides education and vocational skills to Bhutanese students living in refugee camps, Nepal.

Take action!

1. Find out more

– what do you know about refugees and asylum seekers? Commit to finding out three facts you didn’t know, today!

2. Pray

– for our Caritas partners and all who help refugees around the world.

3. Work for justice

– Pope Paul VI said “If you want peace, work for justice”. Hold a #withSyria prayer vigil and/or ‘Kids for Kids’ event and stand in solidarity with Syrian refugees.

A Prayer for Peace in Syria

Prayer from Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a collaborative effort of USCCB and CRS

God of Compassion, Hear the cries of the people of Syria

Comfort those who suffer violence Console those who mourn the dead

Give strength to Syria’s neighbouring countries to welcome the refugees

Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms

And protect those who are committed to peace

God of Hope, Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies

Inflame the Universal Church with compassion for the people of Syria

And give us hope for a future built on justice for all

We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the world.


Picture credits

• Refugee Week Logo and Banner • World Map:

• Caritas Switzerland • Catholic Relief Services • Eoghan Rice / Trócaire

Last updated June 2014