November 22, 2013

Responding With Compassion

Yesterday, The Guardian, posted an article written (under a pseudonym) by a nurse who worked with asylum seekers on Christmas Island. Her article, “My experience as a nurse on Christmas Island changed the core of my being” was well written and shared the stories of asylum seekers she met while working there.

I saw this article posted on Facebook last night and felt it was a wonderful follow up from my blog post on Wednesday about my experiences with refugees. Everything she wrote resonated with my own experiences with refugees and the stories I too have heard. Stories of unthinkable suffering and violence…stories nightmares are made of.

However, like me, she was also struck by the presence of hope and the courageous display of resilience in those seeking safety on our shores. In her article she wrote;

“Surprisingly, my days spent in the induction shed were always the most desirable, because although you'd hear extremely sad stories, you would also be reminded of the strength of the human spirit to overcome tragedy and fight to survive. I often found myself in awe of the sheer tenacity on display. My "clients" were always so grateful to have made the boat journey, grateful to have a hot meal, shelter or water, and grateful to finally be safe from harm.”

It seems people are talking about refugees and asylum seekers at the moment, and it is great to see articles like this one. Sharing the stories of those seeking asylum will allow us to understand the human element of this global issue. Hopefully then we can begin to respond with more compassion and no longer out of ignorance or an uneducated fear.

Jessica Stead xxxx

christmas island Photo sourced from The Guardian (ABC/AP)

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