In India, JRS provides Chin and Hakha refugees from Burma living on the outskirts of Delhi English, computer, and tailoring courses. There is an English teacher for the tailoring class, who teaches basic and spoken English for an hour each day before the class. For the Hakha community, Jesuit theology students from Vidhya Joyti College take turns teaching English. In southern India, JRS serves Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in 112 camps, in complementary education centres, awareness and cultural programmes and life skills centres for girls who have left school early.
In Nepal, JRS works with Caritas Nepal to provide education in the remaining refugee camps. As the mass international resettlement effort continues, more than 76,000 Bhutanese refugees have successfully started a new life abroad, and the camps and schools are getting merged and smaller. JRS is working to provide for these schools and make the most of the education system during this process and will continue serving these refugees until the resettlement process is complete.
In Sri Lanka, JRS has been working, during and after the tsunami and civil war to provide pre-school education and scholarships for higher education for those still displaced or resettled in war affected areas. Now JRS is expanding its education efforts with the help of Saint Xavier's College in Kolkata and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education on the Margins to provide online tertiary education to students who might not otherwise have been able to continue their studies.
JRS has been operative in Sri Lanka since 1983. JRS Sri Lanka began to get involved with the forcibly displaced people more fully and more definitively since 1995. When the tsunami struck Sri Lanka on 26 December 2004, JRS got involved in assisting the victims. When the war broke out in 2006 in the east and in 2007 in the north, JRS continued to serve the victims. In the post-war scenario JRS continues to serve the people in "welfare centres” and resettlement areas. Children receive accredited education at preschools (PSCs) and at complementary education centres at government schools. Special coaching programmes are conducted in preparation for the grade five scholarship and GCE examinations. Scholarships are provided to vulnerable higher secondary students. By providing appropriate accredited residential and non-residential multi-skills training JRS enables those who left school early, vulnerable students and youth, and women heading their families in resettlement areas to find gainful employment and to contribute in their localities through increasing their skills. Healing services are conducted to heal the wounds of war and support is extended towards community recovery.
In Afghanistan, JRS works mainly in the area of education for the war-affected youth, especially those returning after seeking refuge in Iran or Pakistan. With funding from the United States government, JRS provides teachers for the English Access Program, teaching young people English in Herat and Kabul, giving them the opportunity for higher education abroad. JRS provides teacher trainings, university faculty, and informal education in cities and rural villages, filling education gaps other NGOs and government agencies do not.
JRS South Asia considers providing quality tertiary education as an important step towards growth, development and self-dependence. We are planning to start online tertiary education preparatory courses in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.