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     Home > Charity & Solidarity  >  2013-06-20 09:29:40
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World Refugee Day through the eyes of a lens

(Vatican Radio) Sanctuary and Sustenance, that’s the title of a new exhibition that has been launched in Rome to commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20th.

The initiative is being presented by the Jesuit Refugee Service at the Gesù Church in the Italian capital as well as in New York and Beirut. The photos tell the story of refugees and asylum seekers from Syria and Congo forced to flee war, persecution and other human rights violations.

The Jesuit Refugee Service is giving food support to more than 100,000 people per month in the Middle East and North Africa region, mainly in Syria, but also in Jordan and Lebanon.
Syria and Congo are the “two most complicated situations at the moment in the world unfortunately,” says the International Director of JRS Peter Balleis SJ. He adds “in Syria with the President of the Jesuits and the local Churches we work together with a whole network reaching out with food , sustenance…but we do together not just with the Christian Churches but we do it together with Muslim a lot of volunteer people, so there is a term which goes beyond the compassion which is in all people and also is rooted in all the religions, so that is very important for us in Syria...”
Stressing the importance of education for Refugees Fr Balleis says it is only through education that generations of refugee children can have the opportunities offered to others; to rebuild futures, and to build communities of peace.
As part of the exhibition a 12-minute video depicting the lives and struggles of refugees in 200 photos will be projected between 9pm and 2am on the façade of the Gesù church until June 21st. The indoor exhibition run at the Gesù until June 30th. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Peter Balleis SJ RealAudioMP3


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