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Backwards and forwards

Refugees

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

~Brian Bilston

Now take a second look, and read this poem again, but this time from the bottom up.

On today,World Refugee Day, it is worth ‘reading this poem backwards to move forwards’.  It helps to open our eyes and our hearts to seeing the world we live in, and the people we encounter in a different way.  They are us, and we are them.  Let’s share the journey. #sharejourney

“We have to see it in terms of the community and how we live together with our diversity. We welcome the stranger because we’re strangers ourselves. We’re strangers to one another.”Sr. Yudith Pereira Rico, Global Sisters Report

Some information on refugee numbers

The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world has topped 65 million, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Monday of this week.

One in every 113 people on Earth has now been driven from their home by persecution, conflict and violence or human rights violations.  Two other ways to get your head around that number:

  • Each minute, 24 people around the world flee their home because of violence or persecution.
  • And if the world’s displaced people were their own nation, it would be larger than the United Kingdom.

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence.  Most likely they cannot return to their home country or are afraid to do so.  An asylum seeker is a person who has applied to a country for declaration as a refugee. There are an estimated 3.1 million asylum seekers worldwide.

There are 5,375 asylum seekers living in direct provision centres across Ireland.

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