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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."
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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.
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Celebrating 35 years of accompaniment and service all over the world
I joined JRS in 2005 when JRS was celebrating 25 years of service among the refugees. In my welcome speech as the JRS country director of Tamil Nadu, India, I said, ‘The most joyful celebration for JRS would be the day when there is no need for JRS, the day there are no refugees in the world.’ 10 years have passed and the number of refugees is on the increase…
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Stars lighting up a dark sky - Overcoming odds
My eyes are closed now, and my mind goes back to the graduation ceremony, a few years ago. It is 2011. I am on the stage; I am reciting a poem in front of the teachers, classmates, and their families. The poem I have chosen is ‘Ithaka’, by Constantine Cavafy. “Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, / you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean”. My voyage, my story...
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Afghanistan - A road less travelled, by Silvia Kaeppeli
Silvia Kaeppeli invites us to share her journey (2012-2015) through her beautiful sketches, giving us a glimpse of the hope and healing JRS brings into the lives of people on the margins.
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The promise of new beginnings - Inauguration of the new JRS-JC:HEM site in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka
Delhi, 24 September 2015 - A new JRS-JC:HEM (Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins) site called Loyola Campus was launched on 14 September in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. This is the second JRS-JC:HEM site in the country providing tertiary education to war-affected youth and professionals in northern Sri Lanka.
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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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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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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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Recent stories
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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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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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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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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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: 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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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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