Newsroom

With a global staff of more than 1,500 worldwide, the Jesuit Refugee Service is a key source for journalists who seek information on the latest issues on forced displacement in the world. Journalists visiting this site have access to press releases, latest news affecting refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, updates from JRS projects and activities, speeches, special features and more.

JRS programmes are implemented through 57 country offices and a large network of partners that annually benefit more than 500,000 persons worldwide. In South Asia, JRS serves in Afghanistan, north and east Sri Lanka, at the Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal, the Chin urban refugee community in New Delhi and the Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu, in southern India.

JRS South Asia regional staff can lend insight into JRS SA programmes and advocacy priorities and provide detailed information on current global crises.

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact our JRS SA Regional Director:

Fr. Stan. Fernandes, SJ
Regional Director, JRS South Asia
Contact No. +919868862860
Tel. No. +91 11 24635372
Fax. +91 11 24690660
email: southasia.director@jrs.net


For all other inquiries, please call +91 11 24635372

I want to be a just man: I want to go back and help my people who are in great need
Afghanistan, 11 April 2017 - “We decided to go back to Afghanistan because we couldn´t survive in the neighbouring country. There was no hope and my father couldn´t work...He couldn´t earn; he couldn´t support us. So we came back to Afghanistan.“
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International: announcing new Deputy Director, Fr Joseph Xavier SJ
Rome, 14 March 2017 - The Jesuit Refugee Service is pleased to present Fr Joseph Xavier SJ as the new International Deputy Director, starting February 2017. His wealth of experience in social justice research and his work advocating for those at the margins will be a great contribution to the Strategic Framework for the future of JRS.
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Rome: Farewell to Fr Ken Gavin SJ
Rome, 22 February 2017 - Fr Ken Gavin SJ spent more than a decade of his life accompanying, serving, and advocating for refugees and the forcibly displaced. From 2003-2010 he served as the Regional Director of JRS USA and from 2011-2017 he worked at the JRS International Office as the Assistant International Director.
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Global: Remembering Fr. Kolvenbach’s commitment to refugees
Rome, 2 December 2016 - The Jesuit Refugee Service family remembers Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ, who died in Beirut, Lebanon on 26 November. Fr Kolvenbach served as the 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus for almost twenty-five years and carried forward Fr. Arrupe’s legacy.
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Like leaving family who adopted me here......

New Delhi, 20 May 2016 – "Seeing their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, even during holidays. I was fully engaged preparing for my classes so as to give of my best to my students,". says Anthony who spent six months in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. 


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My experience as a track facilitator in Sri Lanka - Ninoschka Pinto
New Delhi, 27 February 2016 – "Our purpose is to teach them, not so that they take their knowledge of English and sit at home with it, but to mould them in all areas, so they can avail of opportunities..." Ninoschka H. Pinto spent six months volunteering at the Loyola campus JRS-JC:HEM academy in Sri Lanka. Here is her story in her own words.
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Journeys of Hope: No.3 - Listen to the story behind
Journeys of Hope dispatch number three (February 24, 2016): "No one even listens to the story behind." With these words, Iva, a young Croatian woman who works for Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), neatly summed up the most glaring concern in Europe’s so-called refugee crisis.
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Journeys of Hope: No.2 - Breaking family ties
Journeys of Hope dispatch number two (February 17, 2016): The photo was no bigger than the palm of my hand, the formal portrait of an Afghan family of seven. The distraught father took the photo from his wallet with shaking fingers, and placed it in my hands together with his wife’s ID card.
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Journeys of Hope: No.1 - A hope that knows no borders
Journeys of Hope dispatch number one (February 10, 2016): It is their sheer relief and hope that are most striking… more than their foolhardy courage, the dangers and deprivations of their journey, and their terrible experiences.
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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.
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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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Afghanistan - A road less travelled, by Silvia Kaeppeli
New Delhi, 12 October 2015 – 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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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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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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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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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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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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News archive
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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Quality Education - A Gift to Afghanistan
Afghanistan: 08 April 2014 – “Unfortunately my brother did not allow me to realize my dream of interacting with people of other countries,” said Basin from Kabul. She still recalls the day when her JRS teacher first came to her school and invited students above the age of 13 desiring to join the English language classes.
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Visually impaired Afghan teachers learn computer in St. Xavier’s College Mumbai
Mumbai, 17 March 2014 - In the months of January and February at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, one would have seen a remarkable sight of two young men sitting for hours in learning computers and English. Their desire to learn was infectious and only a closer look would reveal that they were actually blind.
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Providing hope and future to Afghanistan through online/onsite education
Herat, 7 February 2014 - Since 2005, JRS Afghanistan has been consistent in building capacity of young men and women of Afghanistan through its well-designed programmes in teacher training, communication skills in English, technical and vocational skills, and peace building.
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50 per cent of the refugees in the world are in urban areas and are 'invisible'
The study highlighted the plight of the Chin refugees living in Delhi and the various opportunities and challenges before them.
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She will not return to her country
She will not return to her country for fear of being tortured again. She misses her family and hopes to see them one day, though she does not know when.
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Dreams being transformed into Reality
Though born in India and most of them having grown up there, the youth still carry the stigma of being refugees. Their future is uncertain; that fear however, has not robbed them of their childhood or their ambition for a better future.
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A widow’s hope against all odds
New Delhi, 8 August 2013 – "Gradually my left eye was infected and affected the quality of my work; hence I lost my job. I was dependent on my church and other refugees for feeding my family and paying the room rent", Said Mehemiah
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Refugee’s dream of meeting his family
“I thought I would die, I could not bear the pain. They left me thinking I was dead, “ said Rowie.
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Afghanistan: BUILDING BETTER TOMORROWS FOR AFGHAN YOUTH
Herat, 22 May 2013 – When Br. Noel Oliver came to Afghanistan in April 2005, experienced in technical and vocational training in India and Cambodia, the country was just emerging from almost three decades of conflict, and a near total state of destruction.
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India: our journey in Tamil Nadu
New Delhi, 16 May 2013 – At the height of Sri Lanka's civil conflict in 2009, 280,000 people were living in India's refugee camps. Today, the number has decreased to 67,000, while some families have chosen to return, many others believe it is still not safe.
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India: Afghan students practice their English skills in New Delhi visit
New Delhi, 12 February 2013 – Tuesday at Humayun's Tomb might have looked like any class trip with students singing on the bus, teachers telling students to stay together and respect the monuments. But for these 32 teenagers, it was their first time outside of Afghanistan, and a real opportunity to use the English they have been learning over the past four years.
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Nepal: seventy-fifth thousandth refugee leaves camp in search of a bright future
New Delhi, 24 January 2013 – As the camp population decreases and the international resettlement effort continues, JRS celebrates the mass resettlement from Nepal. Six-year-old Yagandra Kami recently became the seventy-fifth thousandth Bhutanese refugee to leave Nepal for a new life with her family.
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India: livelihood training programmes promote self-sufficiency among Chin refugees
New Delhi, 2 January 2013 – Twenty women graduated from the first JRS-sponsored Chin women's tailoring course receiving not only new sewing machines for Christmas, but the know-how to make use of them in the new year.
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India: school drop-outs experience their first graduation ceremony
Trichy, India, 13, September, 2012 – Young women born into one of Tamil Nadu’s 114 Sri Lankan refugee camps have a difficult road ahead of them, making graduating school and higher education nearly impossible for some. Still 19 women who had left school recently graduate from a JRS alternative school where they learned more than just livelihoods skills.
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Global: number of refugees benefiting from JRS services reaches new high
Rome, 17 July 2012 – The number of forcibly displaced persons benefiting from Jesuit Refugee Service work grew by approximately 10 percent in 2011, according to the figures published in the organisation's latest annual report. The latest increase brings the total number of beneficiaries to more than 700,000 for the first time in the 30 year history of JRS.
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South Asia: Our work in 2011
New Delhi, 7 July 2012 – In a year marked with conflict in some places and refugees returning home in others, JRS work expanded to meet the needs in a situation that is always changing.
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Global: Jesuit Refugee Service joins international campaign to stop rape and gender violence in conflict
Rome, 28 June 2012 – Earlier this month, Jesuit Refugee Service officially signed on as a member of the latest civil society coalition, the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict.
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International: President Obama urged to join Mine Ban Treaty
(Washington, D.C.) April 19, 2012 — Leaders from 76 nongovernmental organizations including Jesuit Refugee Service/USA delivered a letter to President Obama urging the U.S. to relinquish antipersonnel landmines and join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty without further delay.
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Thailand: bail offers hope for detained refugees
Bangkok, 18 April, 2012 – After living in Bangkok's Immigration Detention Centre for up to five years, some refugees are finding a way out with a new bail programme.
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Italy/Afghanistan: painting for peace
Bolzano, 16 April 2012 – Drawings depicting peace by Italian and Afghan children will feature in an exhibition in Bolzano in Italy’s Alto Adige region from 16 to 24 April 2012.
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International: JRS defines global approach to urban refugees
Bangkok, 30 March 2012 – To Berlin, Bogotá, Bangkok – UN statistics show that most refugees around the world are going to cities. But do they all face similar obstacles in their new host cities? Are there common approaches JRS can take to serve refugees living in urban areas? At a global consultation meeting held in Bangkok between 19 to 23 March, JRS staff from more than 25 countries gave a qualified yes to these questions.
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USA: Expanding higher education at the margins
Denver, 7 March 2012 — Fr Peter Balleis, SJ, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service, was one of several presenters offering initial remarks at the opening of the first international Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) conference at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.
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Afghanistan: global ban on cluster bombs ratified
Beirut, 13 September 2011 – Afghanistan should be commended for its ratification of the international convention banning cluster bombs in defiance of pressure from the United States, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service, a member of the Cluster Bomb Coalition.
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South Asia: Our work in 2010
New Delhi, 4 July 2011 – In 2010, JRS South Asia continued its rich tradition of serving forcibly displaced people, choosing as a priority those most vulnerable and most discriminated against. Due to the nature of the situation, the programme in Sri Lanka continues to be the main concern of JRS South Asia.
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Afghanistan: tired of war, young people just want peace and security
Rome, 30 June 2011 – Although more than half of all Afghans are of school-going age (representing 68 per cent of the population, the highest proportion in the world); few have an opportunity to go to school.
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Nepal: aid delayed is assistance denied
Jhapa, 23 March 2011 – The Jesuit Refugee Service has issued an appeal for urgent assistance after two fires destroyed more than 700 homes in two refugee camps in eastern Nepal. Although no one was seriously injured, more than 5,000 people were left homeless.
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Nepal: one third of Bhutanese refugees resettled
Rome, 19 October 2010 – More than 36,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in third countries, according to statistics recently produced by the Nepali government. This is a significant increase on the numbers resettled in the last 20 months. Since January 2009, 28,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled.
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Sri Lanka: NGOs refuse to participate in reconciliation commission
Rome, 20 October 2010 – A group of international NGOs – Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group – have refused a government invitation to appear before Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), describing it as lacking credibility.
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