Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Committed to Refugees

Our community has a corporate commitment that gives focus to our vision and work. Our commitment reads:

"As Benedictine Sisters of Erie we commit ourselves to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace by working for sustainability and justice, especially for women and children."

As a novice, we work on a project that aligns with this corporate commitment. After a few ideas, one fell into my lap that combines a few things which are right up my alley.

I am participating in a project called "Young Peace Journalists." The youth coordinator of Pax Christi International coordinates this effort to give voice to refugees internationally. There are about twenty of us, all under 30, from the following countries: Portugal, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Kenya, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and the US.

All of the participants have connections to refugees where they live. Through Pax Christi we are learning some basics of journalism that we will use to interview a local refugee (or more) and write his/her story for Pax Christi's "Peace Stories" blog. It has been quite an experience to connect online with people from all these countries for the trainings. (Time zone adjustments, included!) It is also wonderful to see some people who are still in high school already brimming with a passion for social justice.

The Atlantic ran a story about refugees in Erie late last year. In it, we read about the ways that refugees contribute to a local community. I am excited to help represent this part of the world, especially as Trump's second attempt at a travel ban goes into effect. (Also from The Atlantic, here is a precious video of the children in a family of Iraqi refugees.)

This is the second group of Young Peace Journalists. You can read some of the stories that have already been written at Pax Christi by clicking here.

Let us walk in the holy presence.