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Interview with outgoing JRS Communications Officer John Mezsia
John Mezsia has just completed two years of accompaniment as JRS Communications Officer for South Asia. Here, he shares his experiences and lessons learned.
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Praying with refugees
Praying with Refugees: education enables self-sufficiency
(Washington, D.C.) June 2, 2015 — "Education is a key in combating the evil of hatred, violence and war," says JRS International Director Fr Peter Balleis S.J. “It is important to get (displaced and refugee) children into school. It is important to keep learning, it is a form of healing in the midst of conflict."
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Newsroom
Jordan: finding leadership and purpose in education
Amman, 25 May 2015 – When I came to Jordan, I did not know anybody. I grew up in Darfur, Sudan; when I was 15, I went to the capital Khartoum and studied there for eight years. In 2012, I decided to leave because of security issues with the Sudanese government. I left alone, and then my family followed me
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Newsroom
Peter Balleis, SJ, International Director of JRS, in conversation with Luke Rodrigues, SJ, Jivan correspondent in Rome!
India, 18 March 2015 - Courage and Compassion are words that spring to mind when we think of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). This worldwide organization reaches out to more than 900,000 displaced persons and refugees in over 50 countries. Peter Balleis, SJ shares with Luke Rodrigues, SJ, Jivan correspondent in Rome, the dreams and challenges that are part of this courageous apostolate that addresses a dire need in today’s world.
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Newsroom
Alexis Premkumar, SJ, in conversation with Joe Antony, SJ, on his 8 months and 20 days experience with Talibans!
India, 16 March 2014 - They treated me well. They allowed me to pray in the morning. I went along with them to fetch water. I even prayed that I should be allowed to die. But these were rare moments. They love us. They love India. They are fond of Hindi films. At the Kandahar airport when a soldier learnt I was an Indian he hugged me spontaneously.
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Newsroom
Afghanistan: Indian Jesuit released after eight months in captivity
New Delhi, 22 February 2015 – After more than eight months in captivity, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is delighted by the announcement of the release of Fr Alexis Prem Kumar. JRS is immensely grateful to the Indian government for its role in achieving his release.
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Newsroom
JRS brings International Jesuit university courses to Mannar - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, 28 January 2015 - Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in collaboration with Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) and Jesuits of Sri Lanka, launched the first ONLINE CERTIFICATE COURSES affiliated to GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, USA, on 28 January 2015, at JRS Loyola Campus , Thalaimannar Road, Mannar, north Sri Lanka.
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Newsroom
India, Sri Lanka set to start talks on repatriation of Lankan Tamil refugees
India, 20 January 2015 – Delhi and Colombo are set to start “serious” talks on repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who have taken shelter in India.
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Newsroom
More than 1.70 lakh Sri Lankan people remains refugees or asylum-seekers, says UNHCR
India, 14 January 2015 – Even five years after end of the civil war between Sri Lankan government and LTTE, over 1.70 lakh people remain either as refugees or asylum-seekers in other countries or Internally Displaced Persons within the Island, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
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Praying with refugees
Praying with refugees: children suffering an endless nightmare
Bangui, 4 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.
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Recent stories
If the People of God moves, the Church moves
Nairobi, 18 December 2014 – The church has always been close to people on the move in different ways. 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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Rome: Fr Nicolás encourages us to recognize service to refugees as 'Gospel hospitality in action.'
Rome, 21 November 2014 – Yesterday, on the on 34th anniversary of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), over 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 Frederico Lombardi, Fr Nicolás encouraged governments and citizens to open their doors to refugees, recognizing service to refugees as "Gospel hospitality in action."
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Pope Francis reminds us that helping migrants is a central part of the Christian tradition
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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Arrupe Day Sees an Uncertain Future for Bhutanese Refugees in Eastern Nepal
Nepal 14 November 2014 - Repatriation to Bhutan seems to be a distant, unlikely possibility. Integration in Nepal is easier said than done. The government does not seem open to the idea in a country that has its own infrastructural and economic issues, where jobs are scarce and where allocating land to refugees is a prospect that cannot be easily realized.
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Italy: all my bones used to hurt – sleeping on the street
Catania, 27 October 2014 – Once asylum seekers are granted protection in Italy, they leave the Centri di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo (CARA), or centres for the reception of asylum seekers that were set up in 2008, and graduate to accommodation known as Servizio di Protezione per i Richiedenti Asilo e i Rifugiati (SPRAR). This is a system of reception and integration run by the Ministry for Internal Affairs, in collaboration with humanitarian organisations, to offer asylum seekers and refugees accommodation and help to integrate into Italian society.
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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.
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Afghanistan: four months on, hope remains alive for the safe return of Jesuit Refugee Service director
Delhi, 2 October 2014 - The teachers and students at Sohadat school and JRS training centres now begin their day with a prayer for the "kind Indian aid-worker" whom they miss terribly. On the day their school reopened, they made a special appeal: "give us back Mr Prem, a person we love, who took care of our education with deep dedication and compassion".
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Syria: protection of civilians must be world's priority
(London) September 25, 2014 — Any further intervention in the Middle East must address the suffering of Syrian civilians, a global coalition of 39 leading human rights and humanitarian organizations says. Coinciding with the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the #WithSyria coalition urges world leaders, whoever they support in the conflict, to make clear that they are on the side of civilians.
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Pope Francis urges ‘globalization of charity and cooperation’ to aid migrants and refugees
(Vatican) September 23, 2014 — “Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches,” writes Pope Francis ahead of January’s World Day of Refugees and Migrants.
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Praying with Refugees in Afghanistan: even after the darkest night there will be a new day
Rome, 1 August 2014 – Two months have passed since Fr Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, the Jesuit Refugee Service Afghanistan director, was abducted by a group of armed men from a JRS-sponsored school in Sohadat, a government township for returnee families, 35 kilometers from Herat city in western Afghanistan.
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