Social Justice

The plight of desperate people caught up in war and fleeing war and persecution and often certain death, is a most disturbing reality of the twenty-first century.  We see these images each night in our living room.  Perhaps last night you too were affected by the image of the five year old boy in Syria sitting alone, hurt, confused and bleeding in the back of an ambulance?  There is much we cannot do  –  but there is much we can do. One thing we can do is take seriously our Christian call to radical love, to see Christ in the stranger and speak out on behalf of all those who turn to us for help.  On Tuesday night we screened Chasing Asylum here at school –  a powerful documentary / film about Nauru and Manus Island and the effect of our government’s detention policy on the people incarcerated there. This film is a must-see.  It will bring you face to face with the desperation of these women, men and children and the utter inhumanity of the Australian government’s response to their need.  As Christians, face to face with suffering humanity, we simply cannot offer a response which is anything less than doing our utmost to alleviate suffering. Here is a link to a letter written by Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM, which you may wish to send to the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton.     

I also include for your pondering a poem, Home, written by a refugee, Warsan Shire.

you have to understand
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

 

Next week is the final week of our Days for Girls Appeal.  We ask you to please donate to this most worthwhile appeal.  At this point we have had very little come in.  Below you will find information about this again. 

Days for Girls is a charity that provides washable, reusable feminine hygiene kits to girls and women in our world who do not have access to the sanitary products that we take for granted. During their period, these women are unable to attend school or their workplace, which leads to about 5 days per month away from their education or place of employment. Of course, this lost time builds up and is detrimental to their learning and future, and jeopardises the jobs of those in employment. In addition, poor sanitation and use of inappropriate alternatives can lead to infections. Days for Girls is so called as it aims to get back these lost days, restore dignity and to empower young women.  Each kit contains 2 pairs of new underwear – oftentimes, these are the only underwear the girls and women have. A lot of the kit components are sewn by chapters (groups) of volunteers, who also pack the kits with the other items for distribution to Indigenous girls in Australia and to young women the world over.

 

Below is an example of a kit:

Kit

We are asking you to donate underwear, hotel-size soaps and face-washers that we can send to the charity. Good quality, well-made kits are known to last 3 years and so quality control is stringent. Please see below for details about the requirements:

The underwear style is shown below, in Girls’ sizes 10-14:

Underwear

Face washers should be hemmed (not overlocked) and of reasonable quality cotton. Fluffy, luxurious face washers are not suitable as they take up too much space. Shown below is a suitable style, with a hotel-size soap:

Facewashers

 

The pads, underwear shields and draw-string bags are sewn by volunteers and if you wish to be involved at this level, please contact a chapter. There are several chapters in the Sydney area: http://www.daysforgirls.org/australia

 

Ms Kerry McCullough

Dean of Mission