Young Catholic leaders walk in solidarity with refugees
22 January 2018
It was a cold January morning as young leaders from Catholic youth centres across England and Wales met at Hayes Conference centre for a training event. During that day, they walked 71 miles to show their solidarity with refugees and migrants. These are the first miles of a 29,400 mile journey – the distance around the world – we aim to walk with all the CAFOD supporters to bear witness to the global refugee crisis. What about you? Will you add some miles to our grand total from across England and Wales?
71 miles in solidarity with refugees
"When it comes to people in the UK asking their government to do more for refugees, if people can do this then they should. People marching to show solidarity with refugees, this is a very good thing. God help us and God bless you for this."
Amira, who fled Syria with her two young children
Susan Kambalu, who works in the education team at CAFOD, organised the first of our Share the Journey walks to show solidarity with refugees and migrants. She says: “Each one of us has made a small journey, but together we are making greater strides”.
71 people each walked one mile. They walked to stand up for refugees. Every step they took sent a message to world leaders that they must also step up and act with courage and compassion when they sign new international agreements on refugees and migrants next September.
Before they left for their walk, each group was given a campaign card to help them reflect, listen and discuss as they walked. They were encouraged to share their own life journeys and reflect on the journeys made by refugees and migrants.
Susan added “at the end we invited the participants to sign a card to the Prime Minister to ensure September's UN global agreements have the dignity of refugees and migrants at their heart. We finished with the closing prayer on our cards. It was simple but powerful.”
Easy steps to follow
"It was so easy to organise. I used the guide and followed the advice step-by-step, including reading from the script on the day” says Susan.
"On the day, after the opening prayer, the young adults left in pairs and small groups. They were given fifteen minutes to walk a mile around the grounds,” added Susan.
Some groups had to walk in the rain and as one participant said, “walking outdoors in the rain can help you understand more the situation facing refugees as they walk to seek refuge”.
Go the extra mile for refugees
Now it is your turn to organise a walk in your community. Any age or group can take part. Pick a date from now until September 2018. Why not walk during refugee week (16 to the 24 June)? Your walk will make a big difference and send a powerful message to world leaders that they must step up too.