31st Anniversary of JRS

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Chapatti brings unity

Yogyakarta, 14 November 2011 – 31 years is not short measured on a lifetime. After a 31 year journey JRS is proud of the heritage of spiritual insights from Pedro Arrupe who arouse the concern of people for the refugees. This year, JRS Indonesia celebrated its 31st anniversary in many simple ways.
In Bantul, a celebration attended by around 30 people started with an opening speech by Toto Yulianto, SJ emphasizing that JRS was born for everyone who wants to share their compassion to others, especially with refugees or displaced people. This short speech was then followed by a nusejan, the invitation to have a nice lunch in Farsi.

“For us, a celebration means playing guitar, singing and dancing. But for today, your presence makes us proud as our gathering reminds me that we are a family, more than playing guitar, singing and dancing,” said one Iraqi detainee. Chapatti bread, curry with goat meat and salad were the main menu cooked and served that day. “I love this bread. It’s very nice,” said one of the JRS volunteers while she is dipping pieces of it into the curry.
Cisarua another site of JRS service has its own story. Rather than celebrating the JRS 31st anniversary with a big event staff celebrated simply by accompanying an asylum seeker child laying in hospital. This expression of deep concern for the well being asylum seekers in Cisarua needed no music or singer, only the sound of the heavy rain accompanied the long recovery of Maha’s illness. “Recalling that it was JRS’s 31st birthday, I ask my self, ‘Am I in line with the JRS mission doing a small thing for Maha?’ I have never found the answer … I think just by being with her the answer was given to me,” Melani, JRS staff in Cisarua, looks back at that day.

In another part of Indonesia, the JRS Medan team is still planning a painting contest to celebrate the 31st anniversary of JRS. The theme of the contest is to reflect on the spirit of collaboration between everyone in the detention centre. Hopefully, at the end of the contest everyone in the detention centre finds and expresses the spirit of togetherness.

A special activity during the 31st anniversary celebration was an open lecture on the issue of displacement in Airlangga University (UNAIR) Surabaya. The issue of international refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia is not well known here. For JRS Indonesia, this open lecture became the first step in a public awareness campaign about asylum.

However this anniversary was celebrated that day, “Congratulations to all of us, may the spiritual heritage of our founder, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, continue to live in our service. Let us pray for the people we serve and those who are still on dangerous journeys to seek their refuge wherever they are,” said JRS Indonesia Director, Adrianus Suyadi, SJ.

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31st Anniversary of JRS

Yogyakarta, 14 November 2011 – 31 years is not short measured on a lifetime. After a 31 year journey JRS is proud of the heritage of spiritual insights from Pedro Arrupe who arouse the concern of people for the refugees. This year, JRS Indonesia celebrated its 31st anniversary in many simple ways. Continue reading