The Justice and Peace group at St Alban’s Parish in Winslow organised a supper last month in support of refugees. The purpose was not solely to raise funds for their welfare but to increase awareness of the plight of these people, especially those in the Middle East. The Lampedusa Cross was borrowed from the Cathedral and displayed at the vigil Mass and then moved to the hall during the meal.
When everyone had had a good meal, they took part in an ‘activity’ devised by one of the Group members. It was entitled “Routing for Refugees” (a deliberate pun), in which we were challenged to put ourselves in the place of various refugee families fleeing from war.
Find out more about the problem of the refugee crisis
Working in small groups, we were given a scenario and then had to make a choice of what means of escape to pursue. Depending on the choice, this led to another card in the hall where further options had to be made of how to continue whilst facing a hostile world.
The choices were complex; whether to risk a crossing in a rubber dinghy at the mercy of traffickers; be smuggled across a border; stop to help others or save ourselves; spend our last amount of money on a train journey; perhaps abandon children. Depending on the choice which led to another card describing our fate; drowning at sea, seeking refuge in a camp or successfully arriving in Britain.
Being confronted with such choices brought home the reality of being a refugee. The organiser then told us that all the scenarios we had dealt with were in fact true situations which had been faced by actual families as recorded on the BBC web-site.
It is still not too late to request our Lampedusa Cross action cards to write messages of hope to refuges.