Sunday, June 08, 2008

Visiting refugees

This afternoon our circuit staff visited a camp set up for people who have been affected by the Xenophobic attacks in our country. The conditions are terrible. There are many different factors that have contributed towards these people's current situation.

I am left feeling heartbroken and ashamed.

The first picture is one of a colleague, Ross Olivier with some children. It was shocking to see how many children are present in this camp. Nothing has been organized for them. They share the same toilets, tents and other facilities with adults, most of whom they do not know.

This is a photo of Jerry and Jonathan (from Ethiopia), Alan (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and a friend (also from Ethiopia). They shared their stories with us, how they fled their countries out of fear for their lives, hoping to make a life here.

This is a photo of the make-shift camp set up by the Tshwane council. Drainage is terrible, the place smells and people sit despondent.

I am not pretending as if there are no issues attached to this situation. But before issues become more important than people, perhaps take the time to walk through one of these camps, listen, pray, be present.

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