Posted by Kaylee K on Thursday, August 10, 2017 Under: Response
As we sit in a flat in Paris watching the rain and listening to the sounds of the city, we're struck by the ups and downs of our travels this summer. We have met with a variety of ministries and individuals who are helping unaccompanied asylum-seeking youth as well as refugees. We’ve had some opportunities to spend time with the youth themselves. And, we’ve continued to learn about their ongoing challenges, the heartache for those left behind and the trauma resulting from awful situations they fled and sometimes harm that happened along their journey as well.
What strikes us most are three things:
- This is a tremendously complicated situation with no easy solution
- The local community (church et al) is the best equipped to understand how to help refugees and asylum seekers in their midst
- Each journey is very personal and each situation has intricacies that require relationship and time to really assess solutions and build into healing
For the near future, what we envision is…
- We see fruitful connections coming out of our Mobilised for Unaccompanied Minors (MUM) Network. Our monthly calls continue to expand in participation and topics and we have added a Facebook group. Our in-person meetings have allowed us to deepen these relationships as well as our understanding of the context each ministry operates in. We pray that this work continues and that we’re able to see connections grow, ministries blessed and refugee youth further helped because of these connections.
- We also recognize that there are some models that are bearing fruit and we hope to be encouragers and connectors around these. Specifically, there are several foster-care type set ups in various countries that are growing and by connecting them we’re seeing a shared learning and potential for others to become involved. Secondly, we see the Welcome Center model truly blessing refugees and the community, and we desire to support several of them with resources, finances and prayer.
- We will continue to raise awareness around the challenges and needs of unaccompanied youth who are on the move for a variety of reasons. Over the next six months we’ll be working with the Orphan Sunday initiative, the Refugee Highway Partnership European Roundtable, Google’s refugee job programs, the Lausanne Children on the Move action group, and World Without Orphans movement to provide materials and seminars.
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In : Response
Tags: refugees unaccompanied minors faith europe