To think the fact that I have no religious beliefs should not hinder my suitability as a tutor to refugees?

(14 Posts)
ripsishere Tue 22-Jan-13 00:54:43

I am not driving over your way. It's miles!

LoopsInHoops Tue 22-Jan-13 00:53:43

Our community does a lot of work with refugees from Myanmar Rip, and no-one of the volunteers are religious, although their own families and teachers are. That's why they are here as refugees - Christians being persecuted. I'd still go, but if it doesn't work out, let me know - the group I know always need volunteers.

ripsishere Tue 22-Jan-13 00:49:15

I did phone the UN and spoke to the volunteer coordinator.
She promised to have a word with the Pastors.

zipzap Mon 21-Jan-13 09:32:48

Tell them that you don't think their attitude is a very Christian one and are they sure they are truly Christian too?

And then say that you respect other people's right to believe in who or what they want but as you're here to teach English and not be a missionary you can't really see what the relevance of your religious beliefs are.

scaevola Mon 21-Jan-13 08:50:06

At some point, it might be worth contacting the UNHCR office again to let then know what happened. They are (probably) unaware of it, as I can't see why they'd squander a volunteer's time and goodwill like this deliberately. Then they will have to decide how to handle it - if there are no others who will run the camp, they may be stuck making a pragmatic least-worst choice (if the alternative is that the facility has to close and the refugees are left with nothing at all), or they may be able to change the attitude (which might be down to the two pastors you encountered and not representative).

The UN itself would not discriminate like this, but UNHCR in particular often has to make horrid choices based on what actually exists, rather than what should exist, and it will prioritise shelter, food and medical care.

ripsishere Mon 21-Jan-13 07:15:21

Yep, Minge. We are in Malaysia and as far as I know, it is UN funded.
I've been trying on and off but keep being interrupted by the air con men.
No idea what the outcome would have been had I been a different religion to a Christian TBH.
i suppose I do get plugged in occasionally to god. But only when me and DH DTD.

scaevola Mon 21-Jan-13 07:07:34

OP isn't in UK or indeed Europe, IIRC (DD had schoolfriend called Minge?)

HollyBerryBush Mon 21-Jan-13 07:06:25

Is this in the UK?

Guide them gently towards some legislation on religious discrimination

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 07:06:15

I agree with Hecate.

I'd try Head Office again today, if you can't get through then just turn up (providing it is safe to do so)

scaevola Mon 21-Jan-13 07:06:01

Would they have accepted you if you had been Muslim or Hindu?

What exactly is UN's role in this?

HecateWhoopass Mon 21-Jan-13 07:03:44

Yes. All you can do is try. You want to help. If they turn their noses up because they only want people who will push their church, then they aren't interested in helping these people.

But at least you will have tried to help. With no other motivation.

ripsishere Mon 21-Jan-13 06:58:17

That's what I wondered too. I can't bear missionary-ism of any sort. What really puzzles me is the Pastors are Burmese too.
I will go tomorrow and have a bash.

HecateWhoopass Mon 21-Jan-13 06:56:26

I would go there tomorrow.

If they don't want you, then turn round and come back. You've wasted a bit of your time but you haven't let the people you would have been teaching down.

Am I right that you offered to do this - for free?

I think they are stupid to say they don't want you.

It makes me think that they have an ulterior motive in 'helping' these people. Want to push their church onto them.

That's not helping. That's using.

ripsishere Mon 21-Jan-13 06:51:46

I have volunteered and been accepted by the UNHCR to teach English to Burmese refugees.
After a mix up last week, I was sent to the place which, if I don't go twice a week will close down.
Fine, it is about 15 miles away from where I live rather than the mile or so from the better placed one.
When I got there, I was introduced to Pastor X and Pastor Y. One is male one is female. Pastor X asked me if I was a christian. I said no. she then said - Muslim or Hindu? I said I had no religious beliefs at all. Pastor Y then said he didn't think I'd be suitable since they get a lot of funding from the Methodist church.
I am in a quandary now. I am supposed to start tomorrow, but haven't been able to get in touch with head office to check whether I should.
WW--J--YD?

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