where we work
Zambia: the value of accompaniment
Lusaka, 18 December 2014 – Friendship and compassionate companionship with the most vulnerable provide a powerful type of humanitarian service giving priority to personal accompaniment.
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Colombia: 'whites don't cry for blacks'
Buenaventura, 17 December 2014 – Luis Fernando Gómez Gutiérrez describes his deeply moving experience of accompanying an Afro- Colombian community in Buenaventura, Colombia. Drawing on the Christian three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, he refl ects on how JRS' humble accompaniment of communities in crisis can be a real sign of God's powerful love, through which we are invited to discover life even amid tragedy and death.
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Kenya: finding purpose through healing others
Nairobi, 17 December 2014 – Grace* has lived in Kakuma refugee camp for almost as long as the camp has been in existence. She has witnessed her fellow South Sudanese refugees come and go and come back again after each bout of conflict. While she has stayed safe from a damaging war, she has not been immune from a cycle of domestic abuse common for many women refugees.
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South Africa: the contribution of faith-based organisations working with the displaced
Johannesburg, 11 Decemeber 2014 – Faith-based organisations take from their religious traditions both strong motivations and access to a long history of thinking concerning social and political issues. This can make them ideally placed to fill the gaps in the implementation of human rights.
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South Sudan: Khartoum auxiliary bishop underlines the importance of education and hospitality to refugees
Maban, 11 December 2014 – In a visit to the conflict-affected region of South Sudan, Bishop Daniel Adwok underlined the importance of education and hospitality for refugees living in the border district Maban.
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Eastern Africa: if the People of God moves, the Church moves
Nairobi, 10 December 2014 – The church has always been close to people on the move in different ways. For the early Christian community, hospitality was a fundamental attitude and way of life. Throughout the centuries, hostels offered shelter to travellers and pilgrims, with special concern for the vulnerable. Today, ministry to refugees is a key missionary field, where the Good News of Jesus' love and compassion is proclaimed. Recalling the insightful comment of JRS founder Pedro Arrupe, "If the People of God moves, the Church moves", Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator highlights the close relationship between the church and displaced people. God does not abandon his people: even in exile, he is present, accompanying them all the way.
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Africa: accompanying refugees in the Eucharist
Agulupi, Kakuma, Makhado, 3 December 2014 – Drawn from his years of pastoral work in Uganda, South Africa and Kenya, Gary Smith’s reflection vividly describes how celebrating the Eucharist can be an act of accompaniment for Christian refugees. Celebrating Mass in refugee settings – with song and dance, drama and dialogue – the Good News of the Gospel is broken open, faith is expressed, and God’s people are accompanied. Likewise, Christian members of JRS find in the Eucharist the accompaniment needed to continue being present to and supporting the refugee communities they serve.
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Syria: cries for peace
Beirut, 2 December 2014 – On the day the United States announced they would conduct air strikes against militants in Iraq, a Syrian woman here asked a Jesuit Refugee Service staff member a seemingly simple question: "Do you think a Syrian life has less value than anyone else's?"
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Praying with refugees: reborn through generosity
London, 1 December 2014 – Just before Christmas a couple of years ago, I visited a project in East London that supports young unaccompanied migrants. The young people I met that day had been through a great deal. Some had made seemingly impossible journeys, alone, by sea, air and road. Many had lost touch with their families. Some had experienced homelessness and violence, at home, on route and in the UK. Others had been detained and arrested.
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France: Pope Francis visits European Parliament
Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome, Valletta, 24 November 2014 – On the occasion of Pope Francis’s speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring fully-fledged joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
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