“ #Share the journey was a beautiful experience for me.
A journey of solidarity but also a chance to get to know and understand my peers better.“
In October the Remar group from Catholic Cathedral College joied the Caritas Initiative #Share the Journey and did a solidarity walk around the beautiful surroundings of Living Springs as part of our annual camp.
What made your family come here? How was your
experience of this ?
12 people told their story of migration or immigration to Aotearoa.
These were 12 very different journeys, some dating back centuries, some beginning with their parents or grandparents… and even the migration journey of the student who arrived just 8 months ago in NZ, has begun long before.
Very often have an insight into the adults’s view, but here are some precious voices from our youth.
Stories were told of parents working in different countries, supporting their children back home and then, coming to NZ for the first time, living together again, which brought its own challenges.
“It was really hard to live together…we didn’t share our feelings. We prayed a lot through this… and now we laugh, we do laugh a lot now.”
We heard of personal struggles to accept their parents’ decisions …
“I didn’t want to come here. I had planned my life. I had dreams there (in my home country). I didn’t want to come here. Same as my sister, she didn’t want to come…but I had to change, and I changed a lot.. I had to. God always shows me what to do.”
“It was difficult at first, because everything was a big change. I realised everything was not about competition, and it is really open and accepting. This was really mind blowing at first… it still is..”
A lot of moving back and forward was involved for each of the young people and parents, always striving to give stability and a positive future that bring the family closer together …eventually
“Yes, … I get a lot more time to spend with my dad, and now the whole family comes together ..now we eat lunch together, it is really nice to just sit together and talk. My family became more bonded.”
Very often the whole extended family was involved in the move to support them in various ways.
Why did they all come?
Their parents hoped for a better fairer education for them with more opportunities, better jobs for the parents, a simpler, less competitive life.
Only two students were born here in Aotearoa, but even then, their Kiwi identity has been shaped by the migration of their parents or their grandparents. Here we are all migrants.
So, we heard, what makes a Samoan in Aotearoa to an Islander and a Filipino to a Kiwi, and where they all see themselves in the future.
We also heard a lot about praying, faith and trust in God’s plan…
“The reason we have migrated to New Zealand is because of God’s plan. I believe that God brought us to New Zealand through our parents, so that His kingdom will be developed. I am very blessed to hear everyone’s stories and I will pray for you all. I also will pray that our group will live as salt and light of this world. “
The Remar Group of CCC can only encourage everyone to do a solidarity walk themselves, maybe in their school, parish, community. Even though we learn with each other every day, sharing these stories, bonded us even more together beyond cultures and nationality and a human family.
Solidarity is Walking Together
The Catholic social teaching principle of solidarity is about recognising others as our brothers and sisters and actively working for their good. In our connected humanity, we are invited to build relationships – whakawhanaungatanga – to understand what life is like for others who are different from us. If we meet, greet, get to know one another, we will conquer the fear. Instead we will find understanding. Together as a human family, we can change hearts and minds.
The Christchurch Catholic Commission of Justice & Peace stands with Caritas and their campaign #Share the journey, calling on communities around the world to walk side by side with migrants and refugees as part of Share the Journey’s Global Solidarity Walk.
By walking together, we learn more about each other, build friendships and also send a strong message of unity to political leaders.
Together we aim to walk 1 million kilometres. Each step we take around the world is a step towards building stronger communities and opening our minds and hearts towards a common future.
If you are interested to get involved or do your own solidarity walk, please get in touch with the CCJP
“I invite all of you to remember who the migrants are in your families and communities. Who are the people from afar who are often right in front of our eyes, but whom we often do not see? Now is the time to see them and reach out to them. Now is the time to Share the Journey.”
– Pope Francis