Pastoral care and social services

Pastoral care refers to targeted initiatives – capacity building among catechists, youth, community leaders and small Christian communities – and to wider ministry that reaches thousands. The latter includes liturgical services, including administration of the Sacraments and pastoral accompaniment, especially of people who are ill, traumatised and bereaved.

Forms of social support include psychosocial, social and recreational services, as well as community development activities. JRS Eastern Africa team members offer counselling or therapy for those with mental health problems and organise support groups. Victims of abuse, ex-child soldiers and those who have experienced trauma are among those supported. In Kakuma, JRS runs a protection centre for female survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. In Addis Ababa, a refugee community centre offers activities like sports, language classes, internet use, and music.

In 2013, JRS Eastern Africa provided pastoral care and social services to nearly 20,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons in Ethiopia and Kenya.