Jesuit Refugee Service Latest News and Information Sat, 28 Nov 2015 09:28:52 GMT Global: protect refugees now more than ever Rome, 26 November 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) expresses its sorrow over the death of so many innocent people in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, Mali and elsewhere. With the subsequent rise in xenophobia and islamophobia, we remind host communities and governments that closing the doors to refugees or blocking resettlement processes is a breach of international law and the principle of non-refoulement, or not pushing back people in need of protection. Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT VIDEO: Pontifex Hear Us Nairobi, 25 November 2015 – Refugees Ebba and Josiane share their messages with Pope Francis, asking him to emphasise education, integration, peace and hospitality for refugees during his visit this week to Kenya. Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT Pope Francis to make his first visit to Africa Nairobi, 25 November 2015 – Today Pope Francis embarks on his first journey to Africa, beginning his five-day trip in Nairobi before going on to Kampala, Uganda and then Bangui, Central African Republic. Among his many stops, he will be visiting an urban slum, the United Nations, schools, churches, mosques, prayer vigils and a camp for displaced people in Central African Republic, a country still engulfed in inter-communal violence. He will meet with diverse religious leaders, heads of state and other government officials as well as citizens and refugees of varying faiths, ages and backgrounds. Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT Eastern Africa: message in a bottle. Pontifex, hear us! Kakuma, 23 November 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service mobilised the messages of young refugee boys in Kakuma refugee camp through a project entitled, Message in a Bottle. The project allowed 14 boys hosted in the JRS Amani Centre – a safe house for boys with protection concerns – to send their own message in a bottle to Pope Francis in anticipation for his upcoming visit to Kenya. Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT USA: tell your policymakers we must welcome refugees Washington DC, 19 November 2015 – In the wake of last week's tragic attacks in Paris, the Jesuit Refugee Service is alarmed that blame is being placed on refugees fleeing horrific violence and terrorism in Syria. Thu, 19 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT Pope Francis supports global education initiative for refugee children and youth Rome, 18 November 2015 – In a private audience with 15 refugees and friends and staff of Jesuit Refugee Service to commemorate the 35th anniversary of JRS on Saturday, 14 November, Pope Francis emphasised the importance of education for refugee children and youth as a means to build peace and foster the development of more resilient and cohesive societies. Wed, 18 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT Pope Francis to advocate for education for refugee children and youth Rome, 11 November 2015 – On Saturday, 14 November at 12pm, 15 refugees, as well as staff and friends of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), will attend a private audience with Pope Francis. The Pope will speak about the importance of education for refugee children and youth as a means to build peace and foster the development of more resilient and cohesive societies.  Wed, 11 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT Angola: survivors of sexual violence take back their rights Lunda Norte Province, Angola, 28 October 2015 – Maria Jose Mambole, a refugee from the DRC, speaks before a group of 30 women about sexual violence. Despite the poverty and xenophobia these women already face as refugees, they are burdened with an additional power-gap due to their gender. Together, they have committed themselves to be activists for change. Wed, 28 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT Global: a crisis and a challenge – why words matter Boston, 21 October 2015 – For the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia Associate Director Maryanne Loughry RSM, the very phrase "refugee crisis" is problematic. "It's really a 'conflict crisis,'" she says. "The refugees aren't the crisis. It's the bombing, the torture, the destruction. That's what has been mainly fuelling this unprecedented movement of people." Wed, 21 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child's eyes Jbeil, Lebanon, 20 October 2015 – After living through the trauma of war, most Syrian children need more than a traditional education. These photos show Syrian children holding up drawings which show, in their eyes, what life was like before and after displacement. Tue, 20 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT South Sudan: I'm here just to be with you Maban, 19 October 2015 – When bombs fell on the homes of hundreds of thousands in Blue Nile, Sudan, people ran with just the clothes on their backs, leaving all other worldly possessions behind. For those with severe medical or psychological conditions, such an event proved doubly stressful.  Mon, 19 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT Global: images, heart, faith come together in refugee response, Jesuits say Rome, 15 October 2015 – Through photos, we can see refugees not as “a number or a problem, but as a human being,” says former JRS international director Peter Balleis SJ. As Thomas H Smolich SJ assumed his role on 8 October as the new international director, he agreed that photos touch our hearts, rather than our intellects. Thu, 15 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT EU: ensuring international protection must be priority Brussels, 14 October 2015 – The European Council's meeting on 15-16 October will focus mainly on preparing the Valetta Summit to be held on 11-12 November. The Jesuit Refugee Service welcomes this initiative as it is necessary to enhance dialogue with African countries and discuss issues surrounding forced migration and displacement. However, EU political leaders should not turn a blind-eye to the material and protection needs of refugees and asylum seekers. Wed, 14 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT South Sudan: working toward peace through education Nairobi, 8 October 2015 – The fundamental right of children to education is most at risk during emergencies. Humanitarian crises disrupt education and contribute to higher dropout and lower completion rates. When such emergencies result in displacement, the lack of access to quality education can negatively affect the ability of affected communities to recover and thrive. Thu, 08 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT Kenya: university grads redefine their futures Kakuma, 5 October 2015 – Graduates of online college classes at a refugee camp are challenging the notion that the suffering of the past defines their futures. Mon, 05 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT Malawi: a father's parting words Dzaleka, Malawi, 2 October 2015 – "The only thing my father left me with was this advice before he died," says Charles, a young man living in a refugee camp. "'I don't have anything to give you, but I ask you to continue with your education. Education will be your mother and father when I am no longer there.'" Fri, 02 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT Pope Francis praises ‘mutual enrichment’ found in welcoming refugees Vatican City, 1 October 2015 – "The presence of migrants and refugees seriously challenges the various societies which accept them," writes Pope Francis in his annual message ahead of the 17 January 2016 World Day of Refugees and Migrants. Identity and finding “mutual enrichment” are the themes of the pope’s message. Thu, 01 Oct 2015 05:00:00 GMT USA: solutions for legal challenges facing asylum seekers Washington, DC, 25 September 2015 – An increasing number of Central Americans have been migrating to the USA, including unaccompanied children. Jesuit law schools are serving asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants. Fri, 25 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Syria: why people flee and why they need protection Aleppo, 24 September 2015 – JRS Syria director, Fr Nawras Sammour, talks about what daily life in Syria is like. Impossibly high prices for food and water, daily blackouts and destroyed homes are all too common. His interview shows why Syrians flee, why they need safe and legal paths to access asylum in Europe, and above all, why they desperately need peace in order to rebuild their lives and their country. Thu, 24 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Europe: protecting lives comes first Brussels, 17 September 2015 -- JRS Europe is asking governments in Europe to show the same hospitality to refugees that individuals have shown. Thu, 17 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Europe: advocating for refugees who need protection Rome, 14 September 2015 -- "If I do not get a visa, I will consider taking a boat," says a Syrian man who has twice been denied a visa for Europe. The Jesuit Refugee Service is advocating for more flexible immigration policies--and is glad to see the tide turning. Mon, 14 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Europe: letter to EU president -- save lives before winter comes Brussels, 10 September 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service asked the President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, to save refugee lives now before the cold winter months. Thu, 10 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Europe: how you can help refugees Rome, 10 September 2015 – Throughout Europe, JRS and other groups link refugees with people who can help. Check our list to see how you can volunteer, advocate, or host a family. Thu, 10 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Europe: Catholics answer Pope Francis's call to welcome refugees Brussels, 8 September 2015 -- Catholics across Europe are answering Pope Francis's call to show hospitality to refugees. Since the Pope's statement earlier this week, JRS has heard from thousands of people eager to host refugees in their homes, provide clothing or offer other help. Tue, 08 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT Europe: historic wave of welcome for refugees Rome, 7 September 2015 -- As Pope Francis calls Europe's Catholics to welcome refugees and thousands stream into Germany and Austria, "we are witnessing a historic moment," says Peter Balleis SJ, JRS International Director. "Walls are falling down in people's hearts." Mon, 07 Sep 2015 05:00:00 GMT