“If you had to leave home, for fear of being killed, what would you take with you?”
This was the question asked by Mohammed from Lentara Uniting Care when he spoke to 50 school students from Uniting Church schools. One of the responses was, “a passport”.
“Unfortunately,” Mohammed said, “many people fleeing their homes do not have a chance to make these sorts of decisions.”
The students spent the day putting themselves in the shoes of people seeking asylum – what they go through to get to Australia and what happens once they are here.
The day was organised by the Justice and International Mission unit, the Schools Project worker and Uniting Youth Ministries. It is part of a broader three-day program which brings together hundreds of students from Uniting Church schools who are passionate about social justice.
After learning, discussing and reflecting on the policies that govern Australia’s approach to people seeking asylum in Australia, the students were keen to see a change.
One of the students said, “Today I learnt that being young is not a barrier to making a difference.” Another said, “Social justice situations can be complex, but affect each and every one of us.”
Many students were surprised to learn that “the Uniting Church gathers to discuss important issues,” and concluded that the Church does “lots” to help people seeking asylum.