On Assignment
Waiting and serving in hope: a Christmas reflection
Nairobi, 19 December 2014 – In preparation for the birth of Jesus, Deogratias M Rwezaura SJ, JRS Eastern Africa Director, reflects on the meaning of the Advent season, a season of waiting, for the displaced persons served by the Jesuit Refugee Service throughout Eastern Africa.
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Voices
Kenya: finding purpose through healing others
Nairobi, 17 December 2014 – Grace* has lived in Kakuma refugee camp for almost as long as the camp has been in existence. She has witnessed her fellow South Sudanese refugees come and go and come back again after each bout of conflict. While she has stayed safe from a damaging war, she has not been immune from a cycle of domestic abuse common for many women refugees.
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Newsroom
South Sudan: Khartoum auxiliary bishop underlines the importance of education and hospitality to refugees
Maban, 11 December 2014 – In a visit to the conflict-affected region of South Sudan, Bishop Daniel Adwok underlined the importance of education and hospitality for refugees living in the border district Maban.
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Newsroom
Global: building a culture of hospitality and inclusiveness
Johannesburg, 11 December 2014 – With some 232 million migrants worldwide, a threefold increase since 1960, it is evident that migration is no longer a regional or continental concern but a global phenomenon.

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On Assignment
Eastern Africa: if the People of God moves, the Church moves
Nairobi, 10 December 2014 – The church has always been close to people on the move in different ways. For the early Christian community, hospitality was a fundamental attitude and way of life. Throughout the centuries, hostels offered shelter to travellers and pilgrims, with special concern for the vulnerable. 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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On Assignment
Africa: accompanying refugees in the Eucharist
Agulupi, Kakuma, Makhado, 3 December 2014 – Drawn from his years of pastoral work in Uganda, South Africa and Kenya, Gary Smith’s reflection vividly describes how celebrating the Eucharist can be an act of accompaniment for Christian refugees. Celebrating Mass in refugee settings – with song and dance, drama and dialogue – the Good News of the Gospel is broken open, faith is expressed, and God’s people are accompanied. Likewise, Christian members of JRS find in the Eucharist the accompaniment needed to continue being present to and supporting the refugee communities they serve.
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On Assignment
South Sudan: pastoral accompaniment as a sign of God's presence
Lobone, 19 November 2014 – Faith plays a pivotal role in the experience of refugees. Ignoring this reality would be tantamount to ignoring the huge potential of faith to help refugees cope resiliently with the hardships they face, and to look beyond the present to a future of hope. While respecting the faith of all refugees, JRS offers pastoral services for Catholic refugees in response to need, distinctly from other services. Richard Dwyer says that for many refugees, the presence of a priest is a symbol and a practical sign of God's presence.
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On Assignment
Ethiopia: serving refugees in the Horn of Africa
Dollo Ado, 13 November 2014 –The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) noted that during 2013 the "population of concern" in Ethiopia rose from about 379,000 to 436,000. Most of these refugees live in camps in the Dollo Ado region, a desert area near the southeastern border with Somalia and Kenya. Most struggle to get by in the camps, even risking their lives. Yet with improved educational and livelihood, much can be done to offer young refugees the hope of a brighter future.
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On Assignment
Eastern Africa: friends in the Lord
Nairobi, 12 November 2014 – Atsu Andre Agbogan reflects concretely on his own experience with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) teams in the field and, from his perspective as a human resources officer, highlights the importance of accompaniment within JRS teams. He challenges all in JRS – team members and leaders alike – to understand accompaniment as a process of working together as a team, one complementing the other, striving to identify solutions to problems and offering mutual support in order to achieve the JRS mission.
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Newsroom
South Sudan: humanitarian workers return to a glimmer of hope despite floods in Maban
Maban, 30 October 2014 — As the World Food Programme (WFP) flight evacuated 240 humanitarian workers from four camps in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, Pau Vidal SJ remembers looking down at a crowd of refugees congregated on the airstrip. The evacuation came after violence erupted in Maban county in August, killing five humanitarian workers and an unknown number of civilians.
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Newsroom
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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Newsroom
Video: counselling services help refugees in Kakuma begin to heal
Washington DC, 6 October 2014 — One of the objectives of the Jesuit Refugee Service programmes in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya is to improve the psychological well-being of and the reduction of stress-related health problems of refugees at the camp.
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Newsroom
Kenya: graduates celebrate past achievements and hopeful futures in Kakuma refugee camp
Kakuma, 29 September 2014 – A busy road in Kakuma refugee camp comes alive with shops selling vivacious Tanzanian fabrics, Ethiopian cafes serving espresso shots, families collecting remittances at Somali banks and a micro-version of a university campus offering online higher education to talented refugees.
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Newsroom
Kenya/ Malawi: refugee graduates work, study and service their communities
Rome, 22 September 2014 – For the second consecutive year, refugee students in camps in Kenya and Malawi will graduate from an online Liberal Arts Diploma programme managed by Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education on the Margins (JC:HEM). JRS has found that the most graduates are likely to find employment or continue their studies, and nearly all the students engage in service to their communities.
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Praying with refugees
Praying with Refugees in North Kivu: singing together to the Lord
Masisi, 1 September 2014 – How can we challenge ourselves to pray in a way that gives room to the refugees and displaced persons in our communities? There is a call for change to welcome the displaced in our world. What are my personal commitments towards that? How can I, as a member of a host community, express solidarity for and show hospitality to others?
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Newsroom
Ethiopia: now home to largest number of refugees in Africa
Washington DC, 25 August 2014 — The UN refugee agency reported last week that Ethiopia is now the largest host country of refugees in Africa, surpassing Kenya. At the end of July, Ethiopia was home to more than 629,000 refugees, while neighboring Kenya hosts more than 575,000.
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Campaign
South Sudan: innocence suffers in conflict
(Maban, South Sudan) August 13, 2014 — Alvar and I, the two new Jesuit members of the Jesuit Refugee Service team here, arrived in Maban (Upper Nile state) almost a month ago. More than 127,000 refugees from Sudan came here in late 2011 — early 2012, and are living in four very large camps in a precarious situation.
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Spotlight on Issues
Spotlight on famine crisis in South Sudan
(Washington, D.C.) August 6, 2014 — Whether the severe humanitarian food crisis in South Sudan is a "phase four humanitarian emergency" or a "phase five famine" does not matter much to the 1.6 million South Sudanese who have been displaced by the political and ethnic firestorm that has torn the world's newest country apart since last December.
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Praying with refugees
Praying with Refugees in the Middle East: the resilience of mothers
Damascus, 16 May 2014 – For years mothers in Syria have suffered; many have been displaced, losing their homes, their husbands, and for some, their children. Mothers often have to decide whether to leave other children behind in order to take a wounded child to gain access medical assistance, or to safety across a border.
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Spotlight on Issues
Uganda: Inspiring change through healthy environment and people
Kampala, 19 March 2014 – During a celebration of its kind in Kampala, JRS organised an environment cleaning exercise with her beneficiaries; the refugees and asylum seekers to commemorate International Women’s Day which falls on March 8, of each year.
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On Assignment
South Sudan: Working with vulnerable girls
Yambio, 28 February 2014 - I am Sr. Elizabeth Waraga, a South Sudanese native of Western Equatoria State and a Missionary Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary (MSBVM). I was born during war and my lifetime is an experience of war. I have been a refugee in Central Africa Republic (CAR) on different occasions. But my life as a refugee gave me an opportunity to learn and have a great desire to become a teacher especially to work with girls.
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On Assignment
Uganda: Giving a shoulder to lean on and a comforting hand
Kampala, 28 February 2014 - Many of the students that join the JRS Kampala vocational training classes bear many emotional scars that need to be delicately healed. The accompaniment of such students continues even after they have finished their studies. Such was the case of Marie*, a student of the JRS hairdressing class last year who had joined this course on 8th April 2013. Marie, who is 28 years old and married with three children, had fled to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2011.
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Spotlight on Issues
Kenya: Responding to the challenges of accompaniment
Kakuma, 21 February 2014 - Accompaniment forms an integral part of the service which Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) offers in the work that we do with refugees. In walking with the forcibly displaced persons, being able to walk with them has grown with each day that they arrive in the camp. Kakuma Refugee Camp continues to receive many people who were fleeing their home countries as a result of numerous reasons: war, conflict, drought and hunger, as well as religious persecution.
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Campaign
Kenya: May peace reign in South Sudan and Africa
Kakuma, 17 February 2014 - When I came to Kakuma refugee camp, it felt like I had suffered more than anyone else. However, seeing the reality of life among many other refugees – women and children, the elderly, those who now live with disabilities due to war – has made me think twice.

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