JAG (Josephite Action Group) volunteers have recently partnered with the House of Welcome to support asylum seeker families.
Sixteen generous young people (and a few more mature helpers!) responded to a request from the House of Welcome to help prepare a home for a group of young homeless refugee women.
These young volunteers were extraordinary. They prepped, cleaned and painted, impeccably cleaned bathrooms and bedrooms; put together new beds and mattresses in seven rooms; cleaned out the kitchen, removed the old fridge and set up the new one. Next week, these indefatigable and amazing people have volunteered to return so that they can finalise all that needs to happen to create a real home of welcome for the new residents.
To have completed all that was achieved on one day, and then to offer to come back again the next week, was no more than extraordinary. Such generous cheerfulness and commitment give us enormous hope for the future of our country and world. Most of the young people were ex-students from Mount St Joseph Milperra, but we were graced also by other young people and family members, as well as two men from our families who have made the commitment as part of the volunteer work of their businesses.
The next week, the JAG volunteers continued their work with the House of Welcome – cleaning, painting, clearing, scrubbing.
In the kitchen, the aim when we started was to scrub out one cupboard within the space of one song. We laughed as we managed to achieve it in the space of two and a half, with the ultimate record at two – giving great delight. We still didn’t finish everything, so these generous young people have offered to come back yet again.
As we gathered to give thanks for the day, Bella shared something of her family story with us:
My family is from Chile and first came to Australia when my dad was very young. When they arrived, they stayed in a place very similar to the one we are fixing.
With the help of the Sisters, my grandfather was able to get a job and my grandmother able to learn English. They helped my family settle into Australia and build a family, so I would not be here today without their generosity.
It is amazing to be able to give back and hopefully help give others the opportunity that my family was given.
How amazing and generous these JAG people are.
Jan Barnett rsj
Josephite Justice Co-ordinator
Josephite Justice Network