Meet refugees from the world's forgotten crises

2 July 2018

Tommy Trenchard/ Caritas

David fled South Sudan. He now lives in Bidi Bidi refugee camp in Uganda, the biggest camp in Africa. He received seeds and tools from CAFOD’s sister agency Caritas Uganda. Picture: Tommy Trenchard/ Caritas

More people are forced to flee their homes now than ever before. The largest number from any one country are Syrians, but how often do we hear about refugees from countries like South Sudan or Venezuela? Read these stories from refugees CAFOD partners are working with.

David is a refugee from South Sudan...

"I didn’t want to leave. But the soldiers came and started shooting. I lost some good friends on that day,” says David who migrated from South Sudan to neighbouring Uganda. After a four-days journey, he settled in Bidi Bidi camp where Caritas Uganda works.

Over a million South Sudanese have fled civil war to take refuge in Uganda. David, who’s rebuilding his life in the refugee camp, says: “When we arrived we didn’t know where to start. There was nothing here. But we just settled and made things work. We had to be strong."

David received seeds and tools from Caritas so he could grow his own food. He now trains other people in agriculture. “I teach them about climate-smart farming and about different plant varieties and how to look after them.”

Walking to reach a safe place is part of many refugee’s journey. In solidarity with David and refugees around the world, we invite you to join us in walking for the second time 24,900 miles - the distance around the world. Every step you take, together with others, will send a powerful message to world leaders that they must also step up.

Download your walk guide now to get tips on walking with a group as well as prayers, stories and conversation starters to use as you walk.

Share Gustavo’s journey from Venezuela to Colombia 

"Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus-Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age."  

Pope Francis, 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees

“I came here because I couldn’t let my son go hungry,” says Gustavo who migrated from Venezuela to Colombia. Like Gustavo, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans migrate to Colombia due to food and medicine shortage. 

In addition, after a long internal armed conflict Colombia has the second highest number of displaced people in the world. In response, the Archdiocese of Bogota created the ‘Attention Centre for Migrants’ where Gustavo landed on arrival in Colombia. CAFOD sister agency, Caritas Colombia, runs this centre.

“What they are doing here is excellent. It’s marvellous. It has changed people. They give people food and shelter and spiritual support. They give people the chance to talk because that is what they need to do,” says Gustavo, about the help he received from Caritas.

We cannot turn away from people like Gustavo. You can make a difference by calling on the government to play a leading role in the forthcoming international agreements on migration and refugees.

The three simple steps to Share the Journey with refugees

1. Check our totaliser to see how far we have already walked 

2. Download your guide to organise a solidarity walk in your parish, school or community. 

3.  Pray for migrants and refugees.

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