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Where we work
JRS programmes, found in over 50 countries worldwide, provide assistance to over 730,000 individuals. This service provision is overseen by 10 regional offices with support from the International Office in Rome. For the contact details of each regional office, click on the map and see the details below.

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 Southern Africa
The displacement caused by the political and economic woes of Zimbabwe is at the centre of the attention of JRS in this region. At the same time, in Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, JRS reaches out to refugees from other African countries too, implementing projects both in cities and in camps.

In Zimbabwe, JRS supports IDPs in two districts and offers services in a refugee camp. In neighbouring South Africa, JRS concentrates on helping forcibly displaced people to find work and to integrate; this entails working with host communities, which are usually poor and on the urban fringe. Apart from projects in Pretoria and Johannesburg set up in 1997 to offer income-generation, healthcare, education, and advocacy services, JRS runs a border project in Limpopo. The project was set up in 2008 to offer social support and material assistance to newly arrived Zimbabweans who had fled their country.

In Malawi, JRS offers pre-primary, primary, secondary and adult education, as well as counselling, to refugees in Dzaleka camp. In 2010, the camp became a pilot site for the innovative "Higher education at the margins" project, a joint venture between JRS and US Jesuit universities, which provides a university diploma to refugees through online learning.

True to its pedagogical tradition, JRS has provided quality education to refugees in Malawi for 20 years. When the JRS region of Southern Africa was set up in 1995, JRS already had a unique schools project in Malawi, the Mozambican Open Learning Unit (MOLU), which followed the Mozambican refugees when they returned home.

During the 90s, much of the energy of JRS in this region was devoted to meeting the needs of people displaced by the civil war in Angola, including landmine survivors, with projects in Angola, and in Namibia and Zambia too. When peace came to Angola in 2002, JRS accompanied the returnees, participating in repatriation, rebuilding and peace education. JRS remains present in Angola, offering mostly legal aid and training to refugees in Luanda, Malange, Cabinda and Lunda Norte provinces. In response to a pressing need, JRS Angola has become increasingly involved in the field of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), initiating a counsellor training programme in Caxito, Bengo province, in 2010.

Projects in Zambia and Namibia, on the other hand, have come to a close, with JRS accompanying some Congolese refugees home to Katanga in late 2009, to help with school construction.

Southern Africa
Regional Office
+27 11 618 3404

JRS Southern Africa is one of 10 geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organisation affiliated to the Society of Jesus. The regional office in Southern Africa supports country programmes in Angola, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. With a mandate to serve refugees and forcibly displaced persons, country projects include assisting refugees to access education, healthcare, and offering small business support.

In Angola, JRS institutes legal workshops for refugees and government officials in order to educate individuals about the rights of refugees. JRS also assists refugees in filing appeals if they have been denied refugee status.

In Malawi, JRS works with Jesuit Commons: Higher Education on the Margins in Dzaleka refugee camp to bring a variety of educational initiatives to displaced persons. JRS also brings psychosocial programmes to refugees and displaced persons requiring psychosocial support.

In Zimbabwe, JRS works in Tongogara refugee camp to bring skills training to refugees and displaced persons. These trainings include computing, hairdressing, cosmetology and sewing classes. There are also initiatives that work to bring accredited education and scholarship programmes to students in the camp.

In South Africa, JRS works with refugees in urban areas like Johannesburg and Pretoria to generate income. Since Johannesburg is home to the largest urban refugee population in the world, JRS works tirelessly with refugees to create sustainable livelihoods and vocational training and assistance in setting up small businesses.

Southern Africa: JRS Southern Africa Welcomes a New Regional Director as it bids Farewell to Father David Holdcroft SJ

After six years of selfless service, Father David Holdcroft SJ has moved on as Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Southern Africa Regional Director. His skills and talent will be applied elsewhere within JRS, at the International Office level. Staff, refugees, asylum seekers and many other people he has come into contact with, will most certainly miss him dearly.

However, with the sad news of his departure, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud, his replacement, the newly appointed Regional Director, Tim Smith, is certainly a competent and worthy replacement.
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Italy: Forging Partnerships at a Global Level in Assisting Refugees

With both JRS and SSVP dedicated to assisting people at the
margins have a better life, it is clear that in a world where people movement is
fluid, with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants being forced to flee their
homes due to conflict persecution and economic inequality, efforts need to be
pooled to strengthen the efficacy of our work. 

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Southern Africa: The Massive Project in JRS Malawi, Dzaleka, Kapise and Mwanza in Focus

The conversation with Seva was extremely rich as he has a long and interesting history with JRS. Originally from the Phillipines, Seva has worked with JRS in South Asia, South Africa and is now in Malawi. He worked in both an urban refugee as well as within a camp environment. He expanded on the mass volume of work JRS is doing in Malawi, both within the established setting of Dzaleka Refugee Camp, approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Malawi’s Capital city, Lilongwe to the new refugee intake in Mwanza and Kapise.
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Southern Africa: Working Under Unique Circumstances in Angola

Luamonazo (Mona) Panda, JRS Angola, Country Director, was heard on the 23rd May 2016, on the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), half an hour slot, that is part of the afternoon, drive time radio show on Radio Veritas, at 16:30 PM. Johan Viljoen, JRS South Africa Country Director, assisted with translation as Mona speaks Portuguese as a first language. Mona gave great insight into the unique nature of the work we do in Angola.
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Southern Africa: Comment on Pope Francis' Visit to Lesbos

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), South Africa Country Office, Senior Social Worker, Dan Mhlongo, spoke to Father Brian Mhlanga, on South Africa’s premiere Catholic radio station, Radio Veritas, about the significance of Pope Francis taking three Syrian refugee families, including six children, back with him to the Vatican after a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos.
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Southern Africa: Passionate Work with Refugees in Zimbabwe

A number of interviews were conducted with the JRS team across the Southern Africa Region, a series of interviews that will be broadcast each Monday for the next few weeks. The first person we spoke to was Tendai Makoni, the JRS Zimbabwe Country Co-ordinator. She is extremely passionate about the work she does with refugees in Zimbabwe and the impact it has on the lives of those in Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe.
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Southern Africa: Speaking about JRS South Africa's Social Assistance Programme

Samson spoke about the wide ranging assistance the Social Assistance Programme provides, from the immediate emergency assistance provided through to more long term and sustained assistance it provides in the form of education and home-based healthcare.
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Southern Africa: Speaking about JRS South Africa's Livelihood Programme

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in South Africa, as part of accompanying, serving and advocating on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers, have recognised that we need to empower displaced people to provide for themselves and their families. This requires two important criteria to be met; education and the provision of resources that will enable these refugees and asylum seekers to start their own small businesses and provide for themselves and their families.
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Southern Africa: Speaking to a Refugee who has Beaten all the Odds!

Today, Pie-Pacifique is a successful, content man, with an infectious smile. He is authoring his biography entitled, “Beyond Forgiveness”, and has a tragic yet redemptive tale of overcoming the odds to tell. He shared the intricate detail of the tragedy he witnessed, lived through as well as the intimacy of the relationship he shares with his mother.
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Southern Africa: Speaking to JRS Southern Africa’s Regional Director - Radio Veritas Radio Slot

Father Holdcroft SJ, gave a broad description of the work JRS does across the Region in Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He spoke passionately about the work JRS does in the Region, what the plight is of displaced people in Southern Africa and what our efforts are at responding to this need.
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Southern Africa: JRS Southern Africa’s Maiden Radio Slot Has Aired; Further Great Content to Come

Johan Viljoen shed light on the unique circumstances faced by urban refugees in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Viljoen gave great insight into how projects relating to homebased healthcare, education, vocational skills training for adults, livelihoods assistance as well as emergency assistance for newly arrived refugees impacts on the refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people we assist.
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South Africa: JRS Southern Africa has its own Weekly Radio Slot!

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Southern Africa Region is fortunate to have a weekly, half an hour long slot on South Africa’s premiere Catholic Radio station, Radio Veritas! The show will be aired live every Monday afternoon, and the JRS Southern Africa feature starts at 16:30 PM. The slot will be available as a podcast via the Radio Veritas website and can be listened to online or is available for download. The podcasts will be shared weekly, via this website.
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Vatican City: Pope Francis speaks out for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Vatican City, 12 January 2016 – Yesterday, Pope Francis spoke out for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on 17 January. In his speech, "Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy," the Pope says that refugees and migrants are "people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare."
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Southern Africa: Reflecting on 2015

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to every one of you who shared this year in some manner in our work, displaced people, staff, funders and volunteers. I look forward next year with you to continue building this new world together.
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Southern Africa: Mercy in Motion – Providing Hope Through Education

Whether in the urban setting of Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa or Luanda and Nzaji in Angola, or the camp setting of Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe or Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in the Southern Africa Region has brought education to refugees and asylum seekers.
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