Valetta, 18 May 2015 – No Giving Up, a publication launched by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Malta last week at an event at San Anton Palace under the patronage of her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, recounts the experience of six Somali women who are seeking asylum in Malta.
publication, the women voice their fears, but also their dreams. They
speak about the reasons they left their country and the challenges they
faced throughout their journey, which is still unfinished. They make a
strong appeal to our solidarity, as they persist in their search for
protection and for a life of freedom and dignity.
“In my country
my rights were violated. I could not go to school. I could not choose
who to marry. My life was not mine but dictated by someone else. In the
desert, it was the same, and here too I find myself in the same
situation, in detention, without any control over my life, at the
dictates and mercy of someone else… If I am to be respected, first I
need to be free, free from the bars surrounding me, free from being
controlled by someone else, free to run my life.”
The booklet is
the outcome of group sessions held by JRS Malta with Somali women in
detention and immediately following their release, between April and
October 2014. The process was facilitated by JRS, but the messages are
For us at JRS, this project allowed us to gain
deeper insight into the women’s experience of seeking asylum in Malta.
It helped us to see their situation from their perspective and to
understand better what they are seeking. Getting a precious document is
the alpha and omega of their quest. For them, this longed for ‘document’
is the key to the possibility to live life to the fullest; to have the
support they need to live in dignity and self-sufficiency; to develop
their potential; to be with and to be able to look after their families;
to belong to the community where they live; and to give and take.
project also helped us to see what we do from a different viewpoint –
that of the people we serve – and it challenged us evaluate the services
we offer to make them more effective. We believe the women’s
experience, though subjective, could help other service providers to do
Jesuit Refugee Service Europe
If I am to be respected, first I need to be free, free from the bars surrounding me, free from being controlled by someone else, free to run my life.