Eleanor O'Brien gives and account of a meeting organised by Jesuit Refugee Service Europe she attended recently. She has also written a prayer with and for asylum seekers in detention which can be found on our prayer pages.
DVSG II : This enigmatic title refers to the May 21-25 2008 training organised by the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe at the Chant d´Oiseau Centre in Brussels for its Visitors to Asylum Seekers in Detention: we came from Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, UK, Croatia and Romania.
Following feedback from participants of the 2007 workshop our focus was on communication between people of different cultures. Jean Claude Mullins and Chafik Allal from ITECO facilitated our work. We shared and analysed our experiences of some critical incidents of identity threat so common in our visits to detention centres – some of us shared the daily Eucharist and we had a relaxing evening out in Brussels. So many nationalities with such varied experiences was really enriching and encouraging.
We contributed to a questionnaire in preparation for a policy report on vulnerable detainees being prepared by JRS Europe for the forthcoming publication on the topic at the European Union level.