Taking advantage of the fact that Friday, December 18 is the International Day of Migrants, we echo this event that took place in the Claret School in Las Palmas.
From the Pastoral Team a special morning prayer was organized for the section of Rabadan. Coordinated from the loudspeaker of the school, all the students prayed together and raised their voices about the situation that is happening with the immigrants on the island.
Two 2nd year students guided the dynamic that was followed from each classroom through a presentation. This moment of reflection ended with the reading of a manifesto prepared by two other 2nd year Bachillerato students, coordinated by the Philosophy Seminar.
All of this was done with the firm intention of giving a voice to the voiceless from the point of view of their commitment as Christians. All the sections were brought together in the initiative, adapting the content to the age of the students.
This was the manifesto read by the older students:
Sharik is 16 years old and could be any one of us, indeed, he should be. He fled from the conflicts that surrounded him in Chad, but just as he was suffering from that reality he could suffer from any other reality that unjustly lives on his land. The hunger in Yemen, the civil wars in Sudan and Libya or the reality of the Sahara. Africa is a continent in misery and the only thing that separates them from us is a few kilometres. We plundered and divided a cake that never belonged to us and when it was over we left them to their fate. Europe is directly responsible for the unrest of an entire continent. It is time for us to put solidarity to one side and deliver justice. Sharik must receive decent health care and education, live a childhood like the one we have fortunately had, and if this is not happening in his country, Europe must provide it by right.
It is a fact: thousands of people come to our shores in search of better living conditions, those that were taken from them in their places of origin. Driven by poverty, they are capable of doing whatever is necessary to live with dignity, even with all the abusive costs imposed by the mafias and the long days adrift on the rough seas. When they finally reach their destination, if at all, they expect a continent full of opportunities, a place where they can fulfil the illusion they have pursued so hard. But we, from the comfort of the sofa, will never understand any of this, we simply see figures and images of boats. We dehumanize reality and little by little we distort the story, pointing out and looking for culprits. We try to blame others for the situation and we let a message of segregation, hatred and racism gradually creep in, without realising that we carry the greatest hypocrisy within us. We, who protest when something goes wrong in our easy daily life, are denying basic rights to those who have not been able to enjoy them.
The dignity of these people as well as that of any other, regardless of race or ethnicity, is inalienable. The situation they find themselves in is a disgrace and a violation of virtually all human rights. As if this were not enough, they are sadly accompanied by attitudes of racism and rejection that are unworthy of any country with the audacity to present itself as democratic. Welcoming and integrating immigrants is a political and moral duty. It is about justice, not solidarity. Only justice will overcome the fear of immigration.
As Pope Francis has already said: “The presence of immigrants and refugees today represents an invitation to recover some dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being numbed by a lifestyle full of comforts.
Western governments: how long will they look the other way?