Portuguese President visits JRS Greece
16 March 2018
Athens, 16 March 2018 – The staff, volunteers and refugees of JRS Greece were recently visited by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in the framework of his official visit to Greece.
The Portuguese President welcomed volunteers from JRS, many of whom were Portuguese students who provide refugee support services through the Refugee Support Platform (PAR).
After hearing the experiences of Portuguese volunteers at the refugee centre, Mr de Sousa thanked them for the work they offered and said: "We are proud of these young Portuguese people who are helping here for what they do, what they feel and what they are learning. It is a unique experience. In the morning we were in Thebes and met refugees. Europe must act against this challenge. Europe must act for what it deserves in human existence and in social justice. True Europe is our own Europe, fighting for people and social justice."
JRS Greece director, Maurice Joyeux SJ, thanked him for his visit, stating that "with this visit you are urging us to continue our work." Moreover, as he himself emphasized, "Through this program we are fighting together against fear and discrimination."
"We help the refugees, learn their stories, their names and feel what these people feel," said Maria, volunteer from Portugal.
The Portuguese President visited the two houses of JRS Greece: the Pedro Arrupe Centre where JRS runs an afterschool for about 150 children and the JRS shelter which accommodates about 50 vulnerable forced migrants. Mr de Sousa went to the refugees’ rooms, spoke to them and accepted the volunteer’s gifts, honouring him for his visit.
JRS Greece also runs a day centre and is actively engaged in advocacy, trying to improve conditions for refugees in Greece.
A video of the meeting is available here
Europe must act for what it deserves in human existence and in social justice. True Europe is our own Europe, fighting for people and social justice.