year is the final year of the “Restoring Hope” theme which reminds us that
while a refugee’s journey begins with danger, it also begins with hope. Refugees
flee their homelands not only because they fear persecution, but also because
they have hope: they hope to find freedom from persecution, and safety and
security for themselves and their families; they hope to be given a chance to
start a new life and recover from past trauma. The theme also calls attention
to the role of countries which, through offering protection to refugees and
providing them an opportunity to rebuild their lives, restore hope for a future
free from fear, persecution, violence and insecurity. Finally, the theme aims
to highlight the situation of refugees whose hopes have not been fulfilled –
those who remain in seriously protracted situations, facing ongoing discrimination,
violence and uncertainty, with little hope for a resolution in the near future.
The theme calls on us to consider how we can provide solutions for these
refugees and restore their hopes for a brighter future.
Around 30 members
of Catholic Social Services Victoria gathered in East Melbourne last Monday
evening for the first of three workshops in our Pathways to Partnership series
planned during this latter half of 2014.