Ukraine joined Pope Francis’ international migration campaign

Ukraine joined Pope Francis’ international migration campaign

Pope Francis launched ‘Share the Journey’ migration campaign in Rome on Wednesday 27th September 2017. He invited the whole world to express their support to migrants and refugees, share with them their journey to a better life. Ukraine joined the campaign first of all to support IDPs from eastern Ukraine and listen to their stories. The campaign is coordinated by Caritas Ukraine.

An international campaign “Share the Journey” will last within two years until September 2019. 145 Christian organizations all around the world are invited to join. The campaign is to promote rights of migrants and influence the public discourse on their integration. It will explain reasons for a change of a place of residence, feelings of people, will help to overcome fears related to establishment of new social connections.

In the meaning of “Share the Journey”  a migrant is a person who has hit the road and needs support, assistance or protection. These can be refugees both adults and kids,  seeking for a shelter, IDPs forced to flee from military conflict zones, environmental disasters or just  people looking for a job. These can also be victims of human trafficking.

1,591,670.00 persons are officially registered as IDPs in Ukraine where the humanitarian crisis has lasted over four years due to the war in Eastern Ukraine (as per data of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine), 225,886.00 of them are children (according to UNICEF). The concept of “Share the Journey” is to hear these people, give them the possibility to describe challenges they had to overcome, share feelings while moving to another city and integration to the community.

All interested can join the campaign. People who can share the migration experience are extremely welcome. Caritas Ukraine centers will promote integration initiatives in different cities, for example congregational prayers, discussion clubs, joint dinners and discussions, separate free-time (movie clubs, master classes, art events), joint good deeds (city communal works, charity fairs). This is a way to create a space where IDPs would be able to interact with host communities, feel free and safe.

Information about campaign initiatives will be spread in social networks with the hashtag #sharejourney. Joining the international campaign, Ukraine can emphasize the dynamics of migration and integration processes related to the humanitarian crisis, add Ukrainian issues to the world discourse on migration and protection of IDPs’ rights.