Accompany

The cornerstone of the JRS mission is to offer holistic human services to forcibly displaced persons. All the subsidies in the world will never be able to replace the warmth of assistance rendered by one individual human being to another. JRS recognises the human dignity in refugees through its accompaniment.
It is this direct and personal approach of individual interaction and cooperation with refugees which mutually empowers refugees and JRS personnel alike. It is through providing accompaniment to refugees, touched by their reality in camps, conflict zones, detention centres or wherever else they may be, that JRS staff understand how best to serve and advocate on their behalf.

 “Accompaniment means to be close. We are not approaching refugees as to we have to do such and such right from the start. The stratingpoint is always the relationship, the friendship to people, having the time to listen to them, what they feel, what they have gone through and leads to what they want and what they need. That is why a lot of our services we provide are psychosocial services.” Fr Peter Balleis SJ

To accompany means to be a companion. It is a practical and effective action. Not infrequently, accompaniment is a way of offering protection. Presence can be a sign, that a free person chooses willingly and faithfully to accompany those who are not free, who have no choice about being there. This, is itself a sign, a way of eliciting hope. We are not side-tracked by political manoeuvrings and ethnic divisions, whether among refugees or among the agencies and governments who decide their fate.