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Lola is a woman, mother, and internally displaced person; with support from JRS she is now also a community organiser. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

San Lorenzo, 7 December 2017 – Maria Dolores is Ecuadorian but lived in Cali, Colombia until the violence of armed conflict in the area intensified, forcing her to return to her home country. In Ecuador, she participates in JRS’s citizenship and human rights program and supports an adult literacy initiative. The JRS Ecuador citizenship and human rights program trains refugees and other organisations dealing with forcibly displaced persons to understand rights regarding citizenship and migration.

“The first time that I went to a Jesuit Refugee Service training session was unforgettable... I was shy but a change had begun to take place in me...I began to work with male and female Colombian companions, we came together as a group and we set up an association. On seeing the reality of adult illiteracy present in my community, we spoke to the Jesuit Refugee Service about this need. We teamed up with some young people from another organisation who are the teachers...studying opens doors, opens minds, opens new horizons, new life possibilities...you see life differently,” she says.

To learn more about Maria Dolores, who goes by Lola for short, please view the video below: