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Where we work
JRS programmes, found in 51 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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 South Africa

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.

Johannesburg: Helping to Heal, Providing Hope

Johannesburg, 23 January 2018 - JRS in South Africa provides health care to infirmed refugees and asylum seekers, and the care they provide goes far beyond the healing of illness.
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South Africa: Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of Women, This Women’s Month

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), South Africa recognises that what gives meaning to the month of women in South Africa is practical, real opportunities that give women an opportunity to be self-reliant and financially independent. Through the office based in Pretoria, JRS provides livelihood’s skills training for refugee and asylum seeking women at the Arrupe Women’s Centre.
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South Africa: JRS South Africa Commemorates Mandela Day, Giving More to Society

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) South Africa Country Office commemorated Mandela Day by paying Little Eden, a home for children with intellectual disabilities, a visit. Last year, JRS South Africa, in collaboration with members of the refugee and asylum seeker community along with a number of schools, collected tinned food and other essentials for refugees. Material goods such as food and clothing is essential for many people in need, but this year JRS South Africa brought our global mission of accompaniment to life and chose to spend time with people, tragically neglected by the rest of society.
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South Africa: Youth Taking the Lead in Social Cohesion and Educational Support

A group of Somali tertiary students, understanding the difficulties they faced while completing their primary and secondary education in South Africa, realised that an intervention was needed to assist school learners to cope at school. The Somali Student Association then began to organise tutoring for Somali school learners in various subjects. Sibongile Nkosi, an intern at the JRS South Africa, Country Office and Social Work student at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, after hearing many laments from refugee and asylum seeker parents about their children’s difficulties at school, decided to pool resources with the Somali Student Association to find tutors and increase the academic capacity for the help the group provides.
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World Refugee Day: A Refugees Testimony

Marcelline’s journey to being an invaluable member of JRS South Africa’s homebased care team, was a long, arduous one, filled with tragedy and loss. She however, is the most outstanding example of how refugees, despite the litany of challenges they face, create a life for themselves and thereby contribute to the rest of society.
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South Africa: Refugee protection: The good news and the serious questions

Earlier this week, at an event hosted by the Department of Home Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba explained his vision for refugee protection in South Africa. Some serious questions were raised, but a new optimism was injected into the discourse.
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World Refugee Day: Open minds, Unlock Potential And We Stand Together #WithRefugees

The Minister of the Department of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, gave the keynote address at the World Refugee Day commemorations, on the 20th June 2016 at the Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg . The importance of the event was that it was not just another celebration or commemoration of a day filled with pleasantries, but it was a day that raised conversation around the state of refugees globally and what protections they have and will continue to have in South Africa.
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World Refugee Day 2016: Open minds, Unlock Potential

This World Refugee Day, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) calls upon all of us not only to provide refugees with a safe place to stay, but with opportunities to grow and contribute to society. To truly protect means keeping people safe from all evils, including poverty, isolation, exploitation, misconception and neglect. For this reason, this year JRS is using the theme Open minds, unlock potential.
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South Africa: Refugees ripped off at state hospitals

This is the third and final instalment of Ina Skosana’s - from the Mail and Guardian Centre for Health Journalism, Bhekisisa – coverage about the difficulties faced by urban refugees with the health system in South Africa. We return to the story of Yvette Mbayo-Ndaya (Mama Yvette) as she battles multiple chronic ailments. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), through its two professional homebased caregivers, Marcelline Sangara and Janine Kukasheta, has supported her and her family throughout her battles with her health and societal discrimination.
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South Africa: 'The baby fell, but I just kept running'

Ina Skosana, from the Mail and Guardian Centre for Health Journalism, Bhekisisa, continues her coverage in this second part of a three part series about the difficulties faced by urban refugees with the health system in South Africa. She covered the story of Antoinette*, her husband Emmanuel Muamba* and their family as they were forced to flee the country of their birth, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the difficulties they now face in South Africa. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), through its two professional homebased caregivers, Marcelline Sangara and Janine Kukasheta, is the only support the family has. The article, published on the 5th May2016, via the Mail and Guardian, follows below:
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South Africa: War’s favoured tactic follows rape survivors to SA

Ina Skosana, from the Mail and Guardian Centre for Health Journalism, Bhekisisa, covered the tragic story of Yvette Mbayo-Ndaya (Mama Yvette). It chronicles her need for a desperate escape from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the difficulties she has faced trying to feed six hungry mouths as she struggles with debilitating health problems. Jesuit Refugee Service, through its two professional homebased caregivers, Marcelline Sangara and Janine Kukasheta, is the only support she receives. Extracts of the article, published on the 29th April 2016, via the Mail and Guradian.
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South Africa: Arrupe Women’s Centre Graduates Celebrate Their Success, New Courses and Opportunities

Arrupe Women’s Centre in Johannesburg, held its first graduation for 2016 on the 22nd April. As always, the occasion was marked by optimistic festivity, with this group of graduating women fully appreciating that this extension on their education, is but one step toward financial independence, either through employment or entrepreneurship. Through the support of the Fidel Goetz Foundation, JRS in South Africa was able to expand the programme to include other essential and innovative courses.
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South Africa: Refugees and Asylum Seekers our Greatest Ally in Establishing Strong Community Bonds

Today, Ismail is part of this community, the cordial exchanges of greetings and chit-chat from the local community is a welcome sight despite previous incidents of blatant xenophobia in the past. His shop is a sprawling supermarket, a far cry from the business that was left with nothing following the looting of all those years back.
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South Africa: Refugees and Blind in Johannesburg; Hope Amidst the Struggle

JRS has assisted the family, but it is their tenacity, their will to survive and their unending search for happiness that saw to them escaping their persecution and being able to raise their children in a healthy environment. The children, despite their disability are happy, having many friends to lead them about as the children play games in the courtyard of their apartment block.
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South Africa: Vocational Skills Training – Arrupe and Loyola Graduations End the Year in style!

The Vocational Skills Training Centres (VST) at Arrupe and Loyola, based in Johannesburg and Pretoria respectively, ended the year with two stylish graduation ceremonies. The ladies from both classes, the final class of 2015, designed, sewed and wore their beautiful outfits to the graduation ceremonies and exuded nothing but well deserved pride at their creations.
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