Jesuit Refugee Service Latest News and Information Sat, 13 Feb 2016 19:21:57 GMT South Sudan: education in response to a grave emergency Nairobi, 11 February 2016 –"I've lived through three decades of war and I've never experienced as much violence as I did a few weeks ago," said South Sudanese Sister Elizabeth Waraga, Jesuit Refugee Service Education Coordinator working in Yambio, South Sudan. Last month heavy gun fire between government and opposition forces rained on the small South Sudanese town of Yambio and Sister Elizabeth and her colleagues hid for hours. Thu, 11 Feb 2016 06:00:00 GMT Global: International Day of Prayer and Awareness for Human Trafficking Rome, 8 February 2016 – The millions of refugees who cross international borders seeking protection often find themselves in danger and devoid of the human rights guaranteed to them by international law. Whether en-route through lawless territory, struggling to survive in under-resourced camps or homeless in inhospitable urban centres, many refugees are ripe for exploitation by criminal groups. Mon, 08 Feb 2016 06:00:00 GMT World leaders in London must deliver transformational new deal for Syrian refugees and host countries London, 3 February 2016 -- World leaders in London this week for a high-level conference on Syria must commit to an ambitious and transformational new multi-billion dollar deal for Syrian refugees and the countries hosting them in the region, a global coalition of more than ninety humanitarian and human rights groups said today. Wed, 03 Feb 2016 06:00:00 GMT Europe: protect refugees, a collective responsibility Rome, 3 February 2016 -- The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is seriously concerned by the disjointed reaction and arbitrary and deleterious security measures EU Member States have adopted as a response to the numbers of people fleeing to Europe these last few weeks. Refoulement and the closing of borders are among the most serious violations of treaties and conventions signed by the EU and Member States. Wed, 03 Feb 2016 06:00:00 GMT Global: a call to put an end to the suffering in Syria Rome, 27 January 2015 -- Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. "Enough", they said, of the suffering and bloodshed. That was three years ago. Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens. Wed, 27 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT Cambodia: Montagnard refugees receive protection and a fair case Phnom Penh, 22 January 2016 – In this historic period where the world is seeing millions of forcibly displaced people on the move, and countries breaching their obligations under international law to protect them, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is glad to see that a group of ethnic Vietnamese Montagnard refugees will have access to a fair asylum process in Cambodia. Fri, 22 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT Global: opening the doors, World Day of Migrants and Refugees Vatican City, 18 January 2016 – Yesterday, for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis greeted more than 6,000 refugees and migrants of at least 30 different nationalities in St Peter's Square, recognising the individual value each brings to his or her new community. He encouraged those gathered to not allow life's challenges to deny them hope and joy. Mon, 18 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT Myanmar: historic elections, is it safe for refugees to return? Mae Hong Son, Thailand, 13 January 2016 -- In November 2015, Myanmar held its first national vote since a nominally civilization government was established in 2011, concluding nearly 50 years of military rule. Since the elections, there has been a wave of optimism for national reconciliation, which may allow for repatriation of Burmese refugees who fled to camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border decades ago. Wed, 13 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT Vatican City: Pope Francis speaks out for World Day of Migrants and Refugees Vatican City, 12 January 2016 – Yesterday, Pope Francis spoke out for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on 17 January. In his speech, "Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy," the Pope says that refugees and migrants are "people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare." Tue, 12 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT South Sudan: from Lost Boys to leaders Juba, 8 January 2016 – In the late 1980's and early 1990's, more than 20,000 boys and girls who fled Sudan's second civil war lost their families along the way. For years the international community has called them the "Lost Boys", but today they are no longer boys nor are they lost.  Fri, 08 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT Sweden: common action needed – unilateral border controls not the answer Brussels, 8 January 2016 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is concerned at the recent news that Sweden has reinstated identity checks at its border with Denmark. Sweden has a long tradition of protecting refugees and defending human rights. In fact, in 2015, the country received the highest number of refugees per capita in the EU, approximately 163,000 asylum applications in total. Civil society and NGOs like JRS Sweden have worked to welcome the new arrivals. Fri, 08 Jan 2016 06:00:00 GMT Lebanon: Syrian children need more than a traditional education Jbeil, Lebanon, 16 December 2015 – Seven-year-old Sami* puts a toy gun to his younger brother's head. He play-shoots his other siblings as they cower to the ground. Pulling out a phone, he points to a photo of a soldier: this, he says, is who he wants to be when he grows up. Sami has seen nothing but war for most of his life. While the past is already written, the future is not.  Wed, 16 Dec 2015 06:00:00 GMT Ethiopia: dying to live Mai Aini, 8 December 2015 – "Have you ever counselled someone who later disappeared on the way to Europe?" Sebhat* gazes off, detaching himself from the reality in Mai Aini camp. Only his eyes tell a story of pain and loss. Tue, 08 Dec 2015 06:00:00 GMT Putting Mercy in Motion – JRS launches education campaign for refugee children and youth Rome, 4 December 2015 – On 8 December, as a concrete sign of commitment to the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) will launch the Mercy in Motion advocacy and fundraising campaign to expand and strengthen our education programmes. Our goal is to provide educational services to 100,000 more refugees than we currently do by the year 2020. Fri, 04 Dec 2015 06:00:00 GMT Africa: Pope calls for solidarity with refugees Nairobi, 30 November 2015 – Yesterday, Pope Francis returned from his five-day journey to Africa, concluding his trip in Bangui, Central African Republic, where he called for peace and spread messages of hope and unity – calls which were also echoed during his prior stops in Kenya and Uganda. Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:00:00 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