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Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness
Chicago, 15 April 2014 – Loyola University Chicago and ART WORKS Projects for Human Rights hosted the symposium, 'Sanctuary and Sustenance: Syria and the Plight of Refugees' on Monday, 7 April. Scholars, faculty, practitioners and refugees examined the current political crisis in Syria from a range of perspectives and disciplines. During the day-long symposium Angela Wells spoke on behalf of the Jesuit Refugee Service about humanitarian assistance and religious intervention.
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Syria: Jesuit Refugee Service mourns the death of Frans van der Lugt SJ
Beirut, 8 April 2014 - The Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has announced its closure for three days over the tragic loss of Fr Frans van der Lugt. The whole JRS family is deeply saddened and shocked by his sudden death on Monday morning.
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Praying with Refugees: accompanying people in detention
Washington DC, 1 April 2014 – In the United States and many other countries, Jesuit Refugee Service actively works to assist refugees and asylum seekers in detention. The use of detention to discourage, control and punish asylum seekers has increased worldwide during the past decade. Each year in the US, some 15,000 people seeking asylum are held in detention.
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USA: the Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria
Washington DC, 7 March 2014 – The 15 March marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis. The Jesuit Refugee Service USA is joining #WithSyria, and with millions of people and other organisations across the globe, to shed light on the desperate situation and urge immediate and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent children and families now under siege. The world can no longer remain indifferent to their plight.
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Syria: in conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians alike
Damascus, 28 February 2014 – Radicalised violence, displacement and poverty affect Syrians of all creeds. In what has always been a complex society, with many layers of social, religious and economic diversity, perpetrators of violence have been able to manipulate this heterogeneity to sow divisions among the population.
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Praying with Refugees in Southern Africa: redefining our mission in life
Johannesburg, 1 March 2014 – One morning I received a visitor to our office, a young woman refugee whom I shall call Ayan*.
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Syria: people of Homs hungry to lead a normal life, says Dutch Jesuit
Rome, 10 February 2014 – Three thousand Syrians trapped in the old city of Homs under a two-year siege and food blockade may finally receive relief after agreements were made on Thursday in the Geneva II talks between government and opposition forces. After two weeks, the negotiations seem to have borne some fruit: an agreement allowing for a "humanitarian pause" in Homs.
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Praying with refugees in South Sudan: a call for peace
Tombura-Yambio, 1 February 2014 — The people of South Sudan have experienced far more than their share of suffering. Historians tell us that more than 4.5 million people died in our wars of independence, with similar numbers unaccounted for in past decades. Our nation needs to embrace the past to avoid repeating the mistakes that caused death, suffering and humiliation on a massive scale. I, therefore, appeal strongly for peace in South Sudan, an appeal which comes from deep within me.
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Syria: we can still give people our time
Damascus, 23 January 2014 - I have been working with JRS in Damascus for about nine months now, as the home visits coordinator. We have seven teams that visit families every day. They assess the needs of each family, and we are able to discern which families are in most need of help, or if they need specific assistance – medical and so on.
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Syria: Iraqi refugees on the sidelines of yet another conflict
Damascus, 12 December 2013 – After being forced to flee Iraq, Tarik* thought he had found safety for himself and his family in Syria. Two short years later conflict broke out.
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Recent stories
Praying with refugees in Congo: unexpected gifts of Advent
Bujumbura, 1 December 2013 – "The hand that receives is the same hand that gives", says one African proverb demonstrating the importance of recognising that there will always be others in need, but by helping them you help yourself.
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Praying with refugees in Congo: reconciliation brings hope
Bujumbura, 1 November 2013 – "I grew up hating. I believed the others were bad people. They were not like us", said Léonce*, a Burundian refugee, who spoke with honesty about his experience of prejudice.
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Jordan: online education, harnessing the skills of refugees
Amman, 31 October 2013 – As the Syrian war moves into its thirtieth month, with no end in sight, the response by Jesuit Refugee Service has continued to evolve, from emergency assistance to a strengthening of the long-term service provision. The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan is now at 500,000 and preparing refugee communities for the future has become a priority.
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Jordan: an arduous and perilous journey to safety
Amman, 16 October 2013– Jesuit Refugee Service works in Jordan with refugees from Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia. Here, Mohsen* from Syria shares his story about his flight from his home to safety in Jordan.
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JRS Middle East Director visits US
Washington DC, 8 October 2013 — The Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa is visiting the United States to discuss the ongoing JRS response to the crisis in Syria with Jesuit colleagues, and staff from the United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations.
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Lebanon: devoted Syrian father places education above all else
Beirut, 10 October 2013 – Throughout my time working for JRS in Kafar Zabad, I have encountered many inspiring and resilient families and children. People who have been able to place the needs of others ahead of their own. One such person was a Syrian father whose dedication towards his daughter touched me deeply. Notwithstanding his own struggle to get by, he put the education of his daughter, her future, first.
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Syria: turning pain into their most powerful weapon
Rome, 2 October 2013 – The outbreak of the Syrian conflict, which began more than two years ago, has affected around eight million people with food prices tripling, constant power cuts and worsening water sanitation as well as the destruction of hundreds of hospitals, schools and homes. It is only through this destruction, however, that one sees the true character of a man.
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Syria: work of Jesuit community recognised by German human rights foundation
Rome, 26 September 2013 – Jesuit Refugee Service project director received an award on behalf the Jesuit community in Homs for their work in defence of the human rights of the local population plagued by civil war and the commitment of the priests as Christians in adversity.
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Praying with Refugees in Syria: persecuted, but not abandoned
Homs, 1 October 2013 – Sunday is normally characterised by an atmosphere of love, openness and reciprocity. But now everyday makes our communities more united as these difficult circumstances pull us together and make us stronger, more resilient, just like that symbol of Sunday.
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Italy: a message from Adam, Sudanese refugee from Darfur, to Pope Francis
Rome, 11 September 2013 – Adam, a Sudanese refugee from Darfur, delivered this speech to Pope Francis at Chiesa del Gesu, on 10 September 2013 during the Holy Father's visit to Centro Astalli (the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy).
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