Jesuit Refugee Service Latest News and Information Tue, 27 Jan 2015 01:05:31 GMT Former UK Minister for Education to join the Jesuit Refugee Service Rome, 26 January 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is pleased to announce that former education minister, Sarah Teather MP, will join the International Advocacy team on 1 June 2015. As advocacy adviser, Ms Teather will focus on the provision of education for refugee children the Middle East and South Sudan. Ms Teather will stand down from the British Parliament in May 2015, after 13 years in elected politics. For nearly 12 of these years she represented the London constituency of Brent Central, the most ethnically diverse in the United Kingdom. (Photo: Parliamentary Recording Unit) Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Syria: water, the simplest gift of all Homs, 16 January 2015 – Since the ceasefire for the Old City of Homs was signed early in 2014, Homs has no longer occupied the news headlines from Syria. Recovering and restoring the Old City to any semblance of its former self will take years of reconstruction. In the meantime, those who are able to, have returned to their homes to try rebuild what has been destroyed and reclaim their property. Fri, 16 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Kenya: protection needs increase with refugee influx Kakuma, 14 January 2015 – Without the opportunity to integrate into Kenyan society due to a strict encampment policy and with low chances of resettlement, most refugees in Kenya spend years living in refugee camps. While they are provided a physical space free from war, camps are not necessarily free from human rights abuses, particularly sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT South Sudan: if you think education is expensive, try ignorance Maban, 13 January 2015 – When South Sudan became the world's youngest country in 2011, the literacy rate was a mere 27 percent. To improve this statistic, the education ministry of South Sudan set a high goal: reduce the illiteracy rate by 50 percent by 2015. Tue, 13 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in the Central African Republic: children suffering an endless nightmare Bangui, 1 January 2015 – The long-forgotten and -neglected crisis consuming the Central African Republic (CAR) for the last 30 years has spiralled out of control, and the most vulnerable pay the heaviest price. Since 2013, this already fragile country, unable to survive the fall of François Bozize regime, has succumbed to a dictatorship under multiple armed groups which have established a climate of terror and atrocity. Thu, 01 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT 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. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT 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. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT 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?" Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in England: 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. Mon, 01 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT 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. Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Australia: shutting the door in the face of a global humanitarian crisis Rome, Yogyakarta, 21 November 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) observes with deep sadness yet another sudden retroactive change in Australian government policy towards people seeking international protection in southeast Asia. Yesterday, the government of Australia announced its decision to stop the resettlement of refugees who had registered with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Indonesia on or after the 1 July 2014. The number of refugees resettled by Australia from Indonesia will also be further reduced in 2015. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Rome: Fr Nicolás encourages hospitality on the frontiers Rome, 21 November 2014 – Yesterday, on the on thirty-fourth anniversary of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), more than 250 people gathered to hear Fr Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), discuss Hospitality on the Frontiers. In his discussion with the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, Fr Nicolás encouraged governments and citizens to open their doors to refugees, recognising service to refugees as "Gospel hospitality in action." Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Rome: testimony of a Syrian refugee in Italy, Tareq Rome, 20 November 2014<span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family: " calibri",sans-serif;mso-fareast-font-family:"times="" new="" roman";mso-bidi-font-family:="" "times="" roman";mso-ansi-language:en-gb;mso-fareast-language:it;mso-bidi-language:="" ar-sa"="" lang="EN-GB"> –</span> My name is Tareq, and I'm 28 years of age. I'm Syrian from Damascus. Today, I'm a refugee in Italy. In Syria, I studied languages at university. I left my home city shortly after I graduated to avoid compulsory conscription. I didn't want to go to war. I hate weapons. That way, I had no alternative but to flee and seek asylum. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Rome: hope and fear – testimony of a Syria Jesuit Rome, 20 November 2014 – When the uprising began in Syria, there was great hope and fear. Syrians of all colours knew reform was vital, but that it would come at a heavy cost. Some were hopeful and encouraged the reform movement, others, more fearful, resisted it. There was extremism and moderation in both camps. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Rome: a sign of God’s presence Rome, 20 November 2014 – It is a great honour for the Jesuit Refugee Service to have Fr General Nicolás among us to commemorate this most symbolic day. Our gratitude goes also to Fr Lombardi, to Vatican Radio and to all those whose presence have made this gathering possible today. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Rome: let's open the door to asylum seekers Rome, 20 November 2014 – In a time when the cries of innocent victims of grave humanitarian crises fleeing war and persecution can be heard close to our borders, the response of Europe and Italy has never been more hesitant and contradictory. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Fr Superior Nicolás and Fr Lombardi together to talk about refugees Rome, 20 November 2014 – In commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the foundation of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Fr Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, will discuss the challenges of the reception of refugees with Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Democratic Republic of Congo: time to take strong measures to protect children from armed conflict 20 November 2014 – Twenty-five years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1990, Child Soldiers International and the Jesuit Refugee Service remain concerned by widespread abuses committed against children by armed forces and armed groups. Although significant progress has been made to protect children from armed conflict in the DRC, there is still a long way to go to prevent the recruitment of children, improve assistance to former child soldiers, and end impunity. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Iraq: the Jesuit Refugee Service in Iraqi Kurdistan, winter imperils displaced families Erbil, 11 November 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has established a project in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kuridstan region, to provide assistance to recently displaced people. Unprecedented numbers of families and individuals have been displaced across Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State has spread in recent months. Tue, 11 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in Chad: education preserves the life of its owner – girls' education Abéché, 1 November 2014 – Food shortages in refugee camps forced families to engage in otherwise unacceptable practices. Some marry off their daughters early in exchange for payment. Young girls wash clothes instead of going to school for as little 1.75 US dollars a day; other engage in survival sex. Sixty percent reductions in food assistance last year for the 360,000 Sudanese refugee families in eastern Chad have not only put girls and women at risk, they have affected girls' education. Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT South Sudan: humanitarian workers return to a glimmer of hope despite floods in Maban Maban, 30 October 2014 — As the World Food Programme (WFP) flight evacuated 240 humanitarian workers from four camps in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, Pau Vidal SJ remembers looking down at a crowd of refugees congregated on the airstrip. The evacuation came after violence erupted in Maban county in August, killing five humanitarian workers and an unknown number of civilians. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 50 NGOs urge states at Berlin conference to protect civilians and refugees affected by the Syrian conflict Rome, 28 October 2014 – Prior to today's conference on the Syrian crisis, chaired by the German government and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), a group of 50 national and international NGOs urge governments and NGOs act now to address the suffering of Syrians. Above all, the group added, the international community and influential states must prioritise forging a negotiated political solution to end the conflict in Syria. Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT Emergencies and new conflicts leave the forcibly displaced hungry Rome, 16 October 2014 – While forcibly displaced persons make up only a tiny portion of those suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition, the rise in conflict-induced displacement is putting serious strains on the capacity of the international community to meet the basic food needs of those fleeing conflict. Nothing better illustrates the hardship faced by refugees and internally displaced persons than the on-going conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, and the protracted refugee crisis in Chad. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT Syria: examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to conflict Syria, 13 October 2014 <span class="StoryBody"> – </span>During the anti-apartheid years in South Africa, the phrase "strike a woman and you strike a rock" was popularised by the growing involvement of women in the struggle. In Syria, the role of women has taken on a less aggressive, but no less significant role. Mon, 13 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT