Welcome to the website of JRS Southern Africa



South Africa: JRS South Africa Commemorates Mandela Day, Giving More to Society
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) South Africa Country Office commemorated Mandela Day by paying Little Eden, a home for children with intellectual disabilities, a visit. Last year, JRS South Africa, in collaboration with members of the refugee and asylum seeker community along with a number of schools, collected tinned food and other essentials for refugees. Material goods such as food and clothing is essential for many people in need, but this year JRS South Africa brought our global mission of accompaniment to life and chose to spend time with people, tragically neglected by the rest of society.
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Malawi: A Day of Celebration, Secondary School Celebrations
June 2016 was not only the month of World Refugee Day commemorations, but also a memorable month in the life of the Dzaleka Community Day Secondary School Form 4 students. On Friday 17th June 2016, 160 students, 100 boys and 60 girls, graduated from the Secondary School.
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South Africa: Youth Taking the Lead in Social Cohesion and Educational Support
A group of Somali tertiary students, understanding the difficulties they faced while completing their primary and secondary education in South Africa, realised that an intervention was needed to assist school learners to cope at school. The Somali Student Association then began to organise tutoring for Somali school learners in various subjects. Sibongile Nkosi, an intern at the JRS South Africa, Country Office and Social Work student at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, after hearing many laments from refugee and asylum seeker parents about their children’s difficulties at school, decided to pool resources with the Somali Student Association to find tutors and increase the academic capacity for the help the group provides.
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Malawi: Sustainable Farming, A JRS-JC:HEM Student Tells His Success Story
In November 2015, Anderson applied to study the Sustainable Agriculture and Community Nutrition course, through the JRS-JC:HEM Community Service Learning Tracks (CSLTs). Today he is applying these very same skills he learnt through the CSLT. Now he is applying intercropping – the mixing of crops -, irrigation, steps for soil improvement such as organic manure to improve soil fertility, preparing land and soil for planting by making beds in the garden, pit beds, ridging the soil, mulch to cover the soil with grass for water retention, composting and the use of pest repelling herbs and plants.
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Zimbabwe: Single Women becoming Diversified and Sustainable Small Scale Farmers in Tongogara
JRS has designed the project in such a way that it is scaled to accommodate teams to work in co-operative units, yet sufficient enough to provide these women and their families with additional income and nutrition. Not only have the pig and chicken projects been a huge success in Tongogara Refugee Camp for the widows and single mothers, but it has grown into a rabbit project for another 12 women. With the addition of this project to complement the existing projects, the total number of income generating projects for the women has grown to 3, within less than a year.
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World Refugee Day: Celebrations in Dzaleka Refugee Camp - Malawi
On the 20th June 2016, guests from various organisations arrived early in the morning at Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Among the high profile guests was the Minister of Information, Communication, Technology and Civic Education, Patricia Kaliati.
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World Refugee Day: A Refugees Testimony
Marcelline’s journey to being an invaluable member of JRS South Africa’s homebased care team, was a long, arduous one, filled with tragedy and loss. She however, is the most outstanding example of how refugees, despite the litany of challenges they face, create a life for themselves and thereby contribute to the rest of society.
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South Africa: Refugee protection: The good news and the serious questions
Earlier this week, at an event hosted by the Department of Home Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba explained his vision for refugee protection in South Africa. Some serious questions were raised, but a new optimism was injected into the discourse.
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World Refugee Day: Open minds, Unlock Potential And We Stand Together #WithRefugees
The Minister of the Department of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, gave the keynote address at the World Refugee Day commemorations, on the 20th June 2016 at the Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg . The importance of the event was that it was not just another celebration or commemoration of a day filled with pleasantries, but it was a day that raised conversation around the state of refugees globally and what protections they have and will continue to have in South Africa.
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World Refugee Day 2016: Open minds, Unlock Potential
This World Refugee Day, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) calls upon all of us not only to provide refugees with a safe place to stay, but with opportunities to grow and contribute to society. To truly protect means keeping people safe from all evils, including poverty, isolation, exploitation, misconception and neglect. For this reason, this year JRS is using the theme Open minds, unlock potential.
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Recent stories
Italy: Forging Partnerships at a Global Level in Assisting Refugees

With both JRS and SSVP dedicated to assisting people at the
margins have a better life, it is clear that in a world where people movement is
fluid, with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants being forced to flee their
homes due to conflict persecution and economic inequality, efforts need to be
pooled to strengthen the efficacy of our work. 


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Southern Africa: The Massive Project in JRS Malawi, Dzaleka, Kapise and Mwanza in Focus
The conversation with Seva was extremely rich as he has a long and interesting history with JRS. Originally from the Phillipines, Seva has worked with JRS in South Asia, South Africa and is now in Malawi. He worked in both an urban refugee as well as within a camp environment. He expanded on the mass volume of work JRS is doing in Malawi, both within the established setting of Dzaleka Refugee Camp, approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Malawi’s Capital city, Lilongwe to the new refugee intake in Mwanza and Kapise.
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Southern Africa: Working Under Unique Circumstances in Angola
Luamonazo (Mona) Panda, JRS Angola, Country Director, was heard on the 23rd May 2016, on the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), half an hour slot, that is part of the afternoon, drive time radio show on Radio Veritas, at 16:30 PM. Johan Viljoen, JRS South Africa Country Director, assisted with translation as Mona speaks Portuguese as a first language. Mona gave great insight into the unique nature of the work we do in Angola.
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Southern Africa: Comment on Pope Francis' Visit to Lesbos
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), South Africa Country Office, Senior Social Worker, Dan Mhlongo, spoke to Father Brian Mhlanga, on South Africa’s premiere Catholic radio station, Radio Veritas, about the significance of Pope Francis taking three Syrian refugee families, including six children, back with him to the Vatican after a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos.
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South Africa: Refugees ripped off at state hospitals
This is the third and final instalment of Ina Skosana’s - from the Mail and Guardian Centre for Health Journalism, Bhekisisa – coverage about the difficulties faced by urban refugees with the health system in South Africa. We return to the story of Yvette Mbayo-Ndaya (Mama Yvette) as she battles multiple chronic ailments. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), through its two professional homebased caregivers, Marcelline Sangara and Janine Kukasheta, has supported her and her family throughout her battles with her health and societal discrimination.
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South Africa: 'The baby fell, but I just kept running'
Ina Skosana, from the Mail and Guardian Centre for Health Journalism, Bhekisisa, continues her coverage in this second part of a three part series about the difficulties faced by urban refugees with the health system in South Africa. She covered the story of Antoinette*, her husband Emmanuel Muamba* and their family as they were forced to flee the country of their birth, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the difficulties they now face in South Africa. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), through its two professional homebased caregivers, Marcelline Sangara and Janine Kukasheta, is the only support the family has. The article, published on the 5th May2016, via the Mail and Guardian, follows below:
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Southern Africa: Passionate Work with Refugees in Zimbabwe
A number of interviews were conducted with the JRS team across the Southern Africa Region, a series of interviews that will be broadcast each Monday for the next few weeks. The first person we spoke to was Tendai Makoni, the JRS Zimbabwe Country Co-ordinator. She is extremely passionate about the work she does with refugees in Zimbabwe and the impact it has on the lives of those in Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe.
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Malawi: JRS, Working with the Community Toward a Green Environment
As you enter Dzaleka Refugee Camp from the road leading to Dowa District, the most notable aspect of the landscape is the lack of foliage. Apart from the young trees near the compound that houses the various Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) offices, Dzaleka is covered in red soil that is renowned for blanketing everything in a bothersome layer of dust at the slightest hint of a breeze. In an effort to reverse this, for the first time since its presence at the Camp, JRS has been tasked with the responsibility of planting approximately 23000 trees at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
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South Africa: War’s favoured tactic follows rape survivors to SA
Ina Skosana, from the Mail and Guardian Centre for Health Journalism, Bhekisisa, covered the tragic story of Yvette Mbayo-Ndaya (Mama Yvette). It chronicles her need for a desperate escape from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the difficulties she has faced trying to feed six hungry mouths as she struggles with debilitating health problems. Jesuit Refugee Service, through its two professional homebased caregivers, Marcelline Sangara and Janine Kukasheta, is the only support she receives. Extracts of the article, published on the 29th April 2016, via the Mail and Guradian.
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South Africa: Arrupe Women’s Centre Graduates Celebrate Their Success, New Courses and Opportunities
Arrupe Women’s Centre in Johannesburg, held its first graduation for 2016 on the 22nd April. As always, the occasion was marked by optimistic festivity, with this group of graduating women fully appreciating that this extension on their education, is but one step toward financial independence, either through employment or entrepreneurship. Through the support of the Fidel Goetz Foundation, JRS in South Africa was able to expand the programme to include other essential and innovative courses.
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