42nd Anniversary: Stories of living out JRS’s 7 Values
14 November 2022|JRS Asia Pacific
Related: JRS Asia Pacific
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) marked 42nd years anniversary on 14th November 2022, . For the longstanding work that JRS has been doing, there are 7 values that guide our mission of accompanying, serving, and advocating for the refugees.
In this regard, JRS Asia Pacific presents 7 stories from JRS teams working in the region. These stories represent how each of them understand live out the JRS mission and values.
- “Hope“: I think that the light is a symbol of power and enlightenment shimmering our journey of work for the displaced people. When we work, we see that many refugees come to us with darkness in their life. I wish “hope” is the candle for them to find their future pathway. I believe that even the small light matters if we don’t lose hope. From day to day, the flame will become bigger.
- “Justice“: When I think about my life, I realize that justice is expensive. Myself is also displaced and affected by the conflict that left me no choice but to move. In danger, what I did is to go to a church and pray. Justice is expensive because it’s a very long hard process to get to the goal. However, it is important to see a small success as well. When I work, I try my best to accompany people in tough situations. Even though justice is very far away, at least I will go listen to them. Sometimes we also cried with them too.
- “Solidarity“: From the first day I joined JRS, I looked at JRS’s 7 values and the word solidarity was very interesting to me. At that time, I didn’t know its meaning. Working in the JRS team and our communities, I always tell myself that, even though it is difficult, I will continue doing my job. Together, we do our best to serve the most vulnerable people. I think solidarity for me is the collective action of JRS staff to accompany, serve, and advocate for the refugees.
- “Dignity“: Every time I have a conversation with refugees, I really appreciate their courage to stand up and ask for help. One of the reasons why our work is focusing on education is because we believe education is the pathway to the dignity of the people we serve. In JRS, refugees and displaced people are not different from us. They are us.
- “Participation“: When I work, I always remind myself that the people we serve know the context and condition better. So, the keyword I always use is we are “working with” the refugees not “working for them”. In every step of the work process, I try to do my best to plant roots to grow and wings to fly.
- “Hospitality“: I think hospitality is the body of the 6 other values because it allows other values to flourish. We can see through our work such as support groups, mental health and psychological support, and other services. Those have proven that hospitality makes our work successful.
- “Compassion“: When I go to work, I go with a non-judgemental mindset and really pay attention to their stories. Many people run for their lives and their children as well. Dealing with this challenging situation is sometimes tough but when I work with compassion, I can see its impact. Compassion is not only a value of the JRS staff, but I can also see compassion within the refugee communities as well.
As our mission directs us, JRS seeks to accompany, serve, and advocate the cause of refugees and other forcibly displaced people, so that they may heal, learn and determine their own future. We are called to make this mission real in each of our lives and in developing right relationships with others and creation.
Louie Bacomo, Asia Pacific Regional Director
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