Special JRS publication for World Refugee Day: Journeys of Hope
17 June 2016
Brussels, 17 June 2016 – Ahead of World Refugee Day, Jesuit Refugee Service Europe is pleased to present “Journeys of Hope: Stories of refugees on the road to Europe”, an eight-part documentary realised with refugees on the move through the Balkans and across the central Mediterranean from January to February 2016.
Originally published as a series of weekly dispatches on the JRS Europe website, Journeys of Hope is published today as an 80-page full-colour booklet with an introduction and afterword by JRS Europe regional director Jean-Marie Carrière, SJ.
“This collection of refugee testimonies provides true testament to the hope, courage and openness with which refugees arrived in Europe in the first few months of this year. It should act as a key reference point to guide Europe’s continued response to refugees as needs and political circumstances change,” said Carrière.
Maltese journalist and long-time JRS writer, Danielle Vella travelled alongside refugees in Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and in Italy, Austria and Germany, interviewing them about their reasons for fleeing their home countries and their hopes for a better future in Europe. For most of her travels she was accompanied by award-winning Maltese photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi who took a series of stunning photographs illustrating the human dimension of Europe’s so-called ‘refugee crisis’.
In early 2016, up to 2,000 people in need of protection arrived from Turkey to Greece on a daily basis. These women, children and men travelled across numerous physical, mental and legal obstacles to reach north-western Europe as quickly as they could, mostly Germany and Sweden. Even during this period, crossing borders was a deadly game and many accidents and deaths occurred.
Now, since national governments have moved to close their borders and the agreement between the EU and Turkey, people in need of international protection are forced to turn to ever more dangerous and precarious ways of reaching Europe.
“Let’s listen to the voices of the refugees, so that we will better understand, with our minds and with our hearts, the strong hope of people who have plunged into the unknown, just to seek peace and freedom and to save life,” concludes Carrière.
To order your copy please contact JRS Europe. An initial print-run of 1,500 English copies has been made.
Copies in French, German, Italian and Spanish to follow soon.
This collection of refugee testimonies provides true testament to the hope, courage and openness with which refugees arrived in Europe in the first few months of this year. It should act as a key reference point to guide Europe’s continued response to refugees as needs and political circumstances change.