‘The Refugee Crisis’ – how can we respond from a healing place – and at a personal level? In turbulent times, when uncertainty, division and fear seems to fragment the human soul, how de we find humanity through the cracks of a collapsing world?
Over sixty five million children, women and men worldwide are currently displaced from their homelands due to war, persecution, or human rights violations. In 2016, European governments have closed migration routes, militarising and fortifying borders to prevent mass movement of people, and have implemented what some see as dubious deals with Turkey and Afghanistan, returning asylum-seekers to unsafe zones. Such measures must tend to increase, rather than diminish, human suffering, and do not contribute to sustainable and humane solutions. In the face of so much suffering, there can be an inclination to turn away, to feel individually powerless and unable to influence events.
- With the majority of European states and media outlets portraying refugees and migrants as threats to social order, national security and cultural heritage, is it possible to go beyond the intoxicating and fear-based stories about refugees?
- When the most fundamental needs for shelter, food and water are barely being met, can a spiritual response be relevant?
- Could the phenomenon of global forced displacement be a physical manifestation of our own collective inner displacement – a sense of disconnection from the sacredness and oneness of life?
- How could a reflection on this possibility inspire individual actions, initiatives large or small?
- Can spiritual practices be a source of strength, resilience and creativity, for displaced populations (including migrants arriving on our shores), for humanitarian workers, and for concerned citizens anxious to make some contribution, however limited?
- In short, in these turbulent times, when uncertainty and fear seems to fragment the human soul, how do we find humanity through the cracks of a collapsing world?
- Is it possible to respond to the refugee crisis from a healing place?
Bruna Kadletz is a former dentist from Brazil who now works with displaced communities and raises awareness of the plight of refugees. Bruna focuses on the importance of placing spiritual awareness and practices at the core of work with refugees. She has worked with refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa, Turkey, France and Greece and with newly arrived refugees in Brazil. She practised as a dentist for many years, with patients among the vulnerable populations in Brazil’s urban slums and in remote areas in the Amazon region. Her attention turned to spirituality and humanitarian work. Bruna contributes regularly to Refugees Deeply, an independent media project covering the refugee crisis worldwide. She is working on a documentary “Wayfarers: the road to our shared humanity” with Alan Gilsenan, an award winning Irish filmmaker. And, she holds an MSc degree in Sociology and Global Change from the University of Edinburgh.