JRS works with schools interested in being instigators of positive change.
The people we work with are incredibly resilient but often find themselves without a home and without a voice. The narrative on people seeking asylum is often distorted. On a global level, we are experiencing the greatest displacement-crisis since WWII. We rarely have the opportunity to hear the voices of those being forced to flee their homes.
JRS Australia hosts Refugee Voices (often in partnership with Sydney Alliance) workshops that counter this power-imbalance and facilitate further agency to refugees and people seeking asylum.
In each of these workshop formats, an expert leader who has experienced forced displacement speaks to students about his or her experience, contributions, and aspirations for a more humane Australia. Students are then invited to critically reflect on their values, their positions, and their knowledge of the issues, and encouraged to ask questions to the expert and a JRS Australia representative.
Presentations are linked to the Australian school curriculum and cover the global, regional, national and local contexts, and often lead to deep discussions about ethics, policy, and political community in contemporary Australia.
Refugee Voices serves as paid employment opportunities for leaders with lived experiences.
School engagement workshops have reached more than 4,200 students in Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Ballina, Hervey Bay, Adelaide, and Perth in the last two years.
Importantly, students are able to identify ways they can actively be involved in supporting people seeking asylum, refugees, and migrants in vulnerable situations through JRS Australia. This has involved:
Participating in Circles of Silence or other awareness-raising activities
Participating in the JRS Youth Ambassador Program
Writing letters to MPs and decision makers
To learn more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org