#Reach out – Share the journey with migrants and refugees

On September 27, Pope Francis launches ‘Share the Journey’, Caritas’ global campaign to bring migrants and communities closer together. Cordaid wholeheartedly joins him, together with 160 other Caritas members across the globe. “This is the time to embrace the culture of encounter”, says Cordaid CEO Kees Zevenbergen. “Not acting now, leads to the bankruptcy of our culture.”

Remember the migrants and refuges in your own family

In recent years, over 65 million people have been forced to leave their homes. They seek safety and a life in dignity. Many die in the attempt to find safer grounds, killed by what Pope Francis calls ‘a culture of indifference’. He calls on communities around the world to reach out to migrants and refugees, to welcome and support them. He also invites us to remember who the migrants are in our own family, our own communities.

It is a matter of pure decency and civilization to open our arms for those who are in need, and share a part of their journey.

Kees Zevenbergen, CEO Cordaid

“Reach out”

Share the Journey’s symbolic “reach out” gesture will be promoted throughout the campaign. Host community members, migrants and refugees around the globe are asked to post “reach out” pictures of themselves on social media. To show his solidarity, Kees Zevenbergen gladly opens his arms in the centre of The Hague and calls on everyone to post their own Share the Journey photographs on social media.

Now, more than ever, is the time

Zevenbergen passionately embraces Pope Francis’ campaign. “Now, more than ever, is the time to share the journey and to reach out”, he says. “Millions are in dire need, from South Sudan to Syria, from Afghanistan to Central Africa. They flee from war, from human rights abuses or natural hazards. Europe is among the richest regions in the world. It is a matter of our Catholic identity and values and of pure decency and civilization to open our arms for those who are in need, and share a part of their journey. It is a moral obligation to welcome those who suffer unspeakably and offer them a place to rest, to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Not doing that, staying indifferent to the suffering of others, leads to the dehumanization of ourselves. It would be a bankruptcy of our culture.”

In Sharing the Journey, Pope Francis reminds – and helps – us to stay human.

Kees Zevenbergen

The Caritas family

It is the Caritas family, deeply rooted in the catholic social teachings of solidarity, inclusion and human dignity, who now lead by example in launching the Share the Journey campaign. Zevenbergen: “Pope Francis’ example and leadership in standing with those who suffer, especially migrants and refugees, is something that inspires all of us. In Sharing the Journey, he reminds – and helps – us to stay human. More than ever we at Cordaid feel the urgency and the moral obligation to assist refugees and displaced people around the globe. In respect of their dignity.”

Read more about Share the Journey and find out how you can join.

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