Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

October 5, 2018

Help for Children Refugees

The following important message comes from the desk of Catholic Relief Services. It asks for immediate help for children refugees, especially help in securing for them the right to go to school. Read the message and explo0re the links which include several ways your students can actively learn about and support this mission. See also the separate Share the Journey.

Seventeen years.

Not only are more people than ever displaced today, but they are displaced, on average, for 17 years. That’s close to a generation. In a strange place. With few connections. Often with little knowledge of local language and customs, and often with rights denied that most of us take for granted. A period that is supposed to be devoted to play, growth and education is too often spent worrying about their daily existence.

During war and crisis, education may seem like something minor, but it is critical to keeping children safe and building hope for the future.

That’s why agencies that serve refugees work to provide access to education for refugee children.

Have You Shared the Journey?

Eyeing the enormity of the refugee crisis, Pope Francis declared, "To give a child a seat at school is the finest gift you can give.”  Right now, a great number of refugee children, especially girls, are not able to attend. We invite you and your communities to call on your Senators to pass an important bill moving in the Senate that would help provide access to education for vulnerable children, like refugees.

So much in the present is a struggle for refugee families, but we work and pray for a chance at a meaningful future.

A Seat at School

Policies and answers are something we debate.  But solidarity is something we do.  It is how we live. That is why we continue to encourage you to Share the Journey by taking a Pilgrimage Walk.  As persons, as families, and as communities, we are putting one foot in front of the other, walking in public in solidarity with those whose lives have become a difficult journey; moving in a deeper, more meaningful way, spiritually and physically.  And then, as we go forward, we will be going forward together.

The response so far has been exciting.  Together, we have entered into the journey, and have walked more than twice around the world.  Can we do five times around?  That is our new goal.

And if we can do that, then surely we can help provide a seat in a school and the opportunity to be educated.  To all of our children.

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