Refugee Voices
Part of the mandate of JRS is to help give a voice to refugees. This section is dedicated to just that. Here you will find stories from refugees, their successes and the challenges they face rebuilding their lives.


Italy: all my bones used to hurt – sleeping on the street
28 October 2014
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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I can do anything if i try
26 May 2014
Nepal, 26 May 2014 - I was born affected with jaundice and, because of this, my eyes were yellow. My parents took me to hospitals outside the camps, in Nepal as well as India. Though I regained my natural eye colour, I lost my vision permanently.
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Seeing everything through the eyes of faith in Afghanistan
09 December 2013
Afghanistan, 9 December 2013 - I find them always happy, serene and peaceful. I feel that they don't suffer much as we think so
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India: Escaping arrest from the Military Regime
20 February 2013
New Delhi, 20 Feburary 2013 – To escape arrest and persecution by the Military Regime, I travelled by road to the border of the neighbouring country, India. I was informed of (the UN refugee agency) UNHCR card and how it is helpful for refugees; so I arranged the trip to Delhi to avail the opportunity.
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Afghanistan: transition from refugee to returnee
01 September 2009
Herat, 1 September 2009 – If I had been educated, I would never have picked up a gun...Today, I just live, not knowing what and where I am. I don't want this to happen to my five sons and daughter. I don't want to keep my children in a rented house to pass thought what I have passed through. I want to give them the identity that comes with having a home of their own. I am happy to be back and I dream that Afghanistan will progress and develop.
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Sri Lanka: I know who holds the future
28 January 2010
Nepal, 8 February 2010 – One of those accompanied by JRS in the war zones of Sri Lanka is 22-year-old Aravinth. His family bears the scars of ethnic violence and the war that pitted the army against the now defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Although Aravinth has moved on, his past haunts him.
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Nepal: shaping destiny through education
24 May 2011
Khudunabari camp, Nepal 22 June 2011 – Leaving Nepal for resettlement, Tila Chan Dhimal recalls the years spent as a refugee in eastern Nepal. He says close involvement with the BREP made him the person he is today.
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Sri Lanka: Accompanying us through war and death
10 May 2011
Mannar, Sri Lanka, May 10 2011 – Shakti is one of thousands of Sri Lankans who were caught in the crossfire of the civil war between the Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) and the now defunct insurgent group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). I was born in the village of Kokkilaai in Mullaitivu district in 1983, the year of the “holocaust” for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, when they were targeted in widespread rioting, and also the time when the Tamil militancy was coming of age.
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Thailand: Friends in detention
10 October 2011
Bangkok, 10 October 2011 – I have been living in Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) with my wife and three small children since December, when we were arrested while sleeping in our home. We were considered illegal migrants after overstaying our visa while we were seeking asylum in Thailand. Luckily, since our arrest we have finished our refugee status determination and have been accepted as refugees.
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Thailand: Spending teen years detained
13 January 2011
Bangkok, 14 January 2010 – Looking at Divea, she seems like an average 18-year-old girl. Wearing a fashionable denim skirt with a t-shirt and long, black hair, she could easily fit in at her high school back in Sri Lanka. But after speaking with Divea for a few minutes, you may forget that she is only 18. Unfortunately, she seems to have forgotten as well. After spending over a year detained in Bangkok's Immigration Detention Centre, she says she has been forced to grow up fast.
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