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The project in detail

The “Reech eng Hand – Reaching Out” diocesan project is a project that relies on the commitment of parishes, associations and religious communities. It is organized locally with recognized refugees and applicants for international protection who reside in these parishes.

A diocesan work group coordinates the project, organizes training for volunteers involved at the local level and ensures the exchange of best practices through this website.

In short

After the last great wave of refugees due to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the exodus of thousands of people from the Middle East today poses serious challenges in terms of reception and integration of these persons, especially in states neighbouring the conflict areas but also in the European Union and its member states.

The number of international protection applications is continuously rising and has accelerated since the conflicts began.
In 2015, 2447 persons, mostly from Syria and Iraq, applied for international protection in Luxembourg (1091 applications in 2014).

Given this painful and highly topical context, the Catholic Church in Luxembourg, through the project “Reech eng Hand”, wants to show solidarity with all the persons who fled and risked their lives.

Project background

Individuals, pastoral and religious communities are already committed since a long time to welcoming and supporting refugees and migrants of all origins.
For months, the focus is on the increasingly critical situation of Christians and other persecuted minorities in the Middle East and the humanitarian catastrophe that has ensued.

The Archbishop of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Hollerich has addressed this subject on numerous occasions, particularly during the opening of the Octave at the end of April 2015, with the symbol of the boat at the foot of the altar, together with the following text

Here is the boat of the many desperate refugees who leave their country, war, famine, terror, crossing the Mediterranean to a place where they could live. For many of them this is the last trip before their drowning.
In our prayers we think of these unfortunate people, their families and their communities.
If, beyond the beautiful thoughts, each of us invests his or her skills, relationships and resources to help create more just and dignified conditions, this boat will become the symbol of people of good will, who are on their way with Jesus through thick and thin.
(from the homily of the Archbishop on 25 April 2015)

During the press conference of 18 June 2015 where the Church presented the Activity Report 2014 of the Archdiocese, the Vicar General Leo Wagener announced the launch of the project “Reech eng Hand” in autumn.
On 12 June 2015, the Archbishop welcomed at the Episcopal House two people of Eritrean nationality going through international protection proceedings - a first concrete sign of welcome.
On 19 and 20 September was read at the week-end masses the appeal of the Archbishop for pastoral and religious communities to engage in the project “Reech eng Hand - Mir engagéieren äis mat de Flüchtlingen” (“Reaching Out – we are committed to the refugees”).
On 30 September, the day of the officiall launch of the project, will take place a press conference.

The various dimensions of “Reech eng Hand”

- Awareness of pastoral and religious communities through a flyer, a sticker, posters and briefings in the pastoral regions in autumn 2015.
- The training of volunteers involved in the parishes and religious communities.
- The reception and support of refugees who live in our neighbourhood by accompanying them and by helping their integration through activities.
- The housing search
to find housing for applicants for international protection and recognized refugees through the provision of houses, land and apartments in our parishes.
- The search for work
- Political expression and advocacy
to encourage political leaders to implement more humane and solidary national and European migration and asylum policies.

The “Reech eng Hand” project is an open and inclusive project with other assistance initiatives for refugees in Luxembourg.

Information and Contact

For more information, please use the contact number and email address created for the project.

 
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