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#Do1Thing: Hope for refugees begins with you

We hear the words “refugee crisis” all the time, and the sheer magnitude of the current situation – more than 65 million people forced to leave their homes to seek safety, with 22.5 million of them having had to flee their countries – can leave us feeling powerless and frustrated. Can anything be done? 

The real crisis, however, is not a “refugee crisis”, but a crisis of solidarity, or what Pope Francis has called “the globalisation of indifference”. The response that is needed is both individual and collective: solidarity is not just an ideal, but is expressed in concrete actions and steps that draw us closer to our neighbours, in whatever situation they find themselves.

To mark the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 14 January 2018, JRS is releasing a campaign, called #Do1Thing, to show what individuals are doing to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate refugees in their communities. These are ordinary people, doing simple things: offering friendship, or helping with a language class. They are not engaged in many great and heroic acts, but often are just offering one thing, one form of support, one day in a week. Often they just #Do1Thing.

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Cameroon: The leading women of Ketté
Yaoundé, 6 July 2018 – I was given the wonderful opportunity to visit the refugee camps where JRS works in the Ketté region of eastern Cameroon. It was a trip amongst beautiful green jungles, through washed-out bridges, and over countless crevice-like ruts.
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#Do1Thing: Let’s let love be our thing
Porto, 17 April 2018 – Dundo, in the north of Angola, on the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, has two big refugee camps; those camps were my home for the last three months of 2017. They were my home because they made me feel at home, even though I know a refugee camp should never be a home for anybody.
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#Do1Thing: My mother’s home
Parramatta, 6 April 2018 – After arriving in Australia, Esther* found herself struggling with finances and food insecurity. A friend of hers suggested she contact the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and gave her a phone number to call.
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#Do1Thing: A heart for others
Parramatta, 2 March 2018 – “You cannot underestimate the power of offering someone a cup of tea, that you have made for them, just the way they like it,” says Joanna, a Community Engagement Officer at JRS Australia.
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#Do1Thing: What can do we do from home?
Goma, 27 February 2018 – I’m living in Goma, the capital city of the province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The context of this region is quite complex; it has been influenced by many tragic events.
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#Do1Thing: The best thing you can give is your time
Batouri, 15 February 2018 – I spent almost one year in Batouri, east Cameroon, about 100 kilometers from the border with the Central African Republic (CAR). There, in what is mostly jungle, electricity is problematic and running water simply doesn’t exist.
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#Do1Thing: A small commitment can have a big impact
Parramatta, 25 January 2018 – Having been a migrant herself, Marthe knows something about having to move. "Refugees don’t want to be here, they’d rather be home,” she says.
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#Do1Thing: Little, local actions with a big impact
Fairfield, 22 January 2019 - Little did I know that when I decided to #Do1Thing for refugees, my life would be set on a course to do multiple things – and to inspire others to take action that will further refugees’ plight to rebuild their lives upon resettlement in America. 
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#Do1Thing: My unexpected swimming teachers
Cisaura, 19 January 2018 – Najib is a Hazara who fled Afghanistan for Indonesia. Before arriving in Indonesia, he had no idea how to swim. Now he is learning with help from a few coaches.
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#Do1Thing: Laughter is the best medicine
Bogor, 17 January 2018 – When we think of a medical doctor among refugees, we might be forgiven for assuming that the doctor is there to provide emergency medical treatment.
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