Welcome to the website of JRS Southern Africa



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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Zimbabwe: Education, A window of hope, putting Mercy in Motion
This year, has been declared as the year of Mercy by Pope Francis. This mercy has been extended, not only to the individual, but to include what an individual can do for his/her fellow man, “to extend the mercy of God to those in need”. This declaration has seen companies and individuals alike donating toward the cause of refugees in Tongogara Refugee Camp. Thanks to a talk given by Zerene Haddad - based at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) International Office in Rome - at St George’s College in Harare on Mercy in Motion, and how the campaign aims to get over 220 000 children into school by 2020.
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Malawi: Mercy in Motion, Bridging Understanding Between Refugee Communities and the Rest of the World
As part of collecting material showcasing the work Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) does in providing education to refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people, JRS Southern Africa received two visitors from the JRS International Office in Rome. This article, compiled by three community journalist volunteers in Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, gives us a brief glimpse into how we, at JRS, work with refugees and how, in all our efforts, we wish to include refugees in recognising their innate human dignity, whilst recognising and fostering their skills and talents.
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Malawi: The World Famous Guitar Maker of Dzaleka
Patron Palushang Bin Kilangana, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC), is talented as a carpenter and craftsman, as well as a musician. However, his true success emanates from the fact that despite the fact that he is limited to the confines of a refugee camp and has access to limited resources, he has managed to set up a global guitar making and selling business.
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Recent stories
Malawi: A Refugee Dance Group Place Second in the National Kajive Dance Competition in Blantyre
The dance group placed second in the national competition’s final round, but their performance was not solely for the purpose of competing and entertaining the audience, but to convey a powerful message, their performance told the story of the people of Dzaleka, talking about the shortage of hospitals, the violence that brought some to Dzaleka, freedom, education and many other socially relevant themes. This was all achieved as a result of what Farini had learnt and applied through his understanding of how to express oneself through Interdisciplinary Art. This is the value Farini gained in being a young community leader through his course with the JRS-JC:HEM programme.
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Southern Africa: Speaking about JRS South Africa's Social Assistance Programme
Samson spoke about the wide ranging assistance the Social Assistance Programme provides, from the immediate emergency assistance provided through to more long term and sustained assistance it provides in the form of education and home-based healthcare.
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Southern Africa: Speaking about JRS South Africa's Livelihood Programme
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in South Africa, as part of accompanying, serving and advocating on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers, have recognised that we need to empower displaced people to provide for themselves and their families. This requires two important criteria to be met; education and the provision of resources that will enable these refugees and asylum seekers to start their own small businesses and provide for themselves and their families.
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Southern Africa: Speaking to a Refugee who has Beaten all the Odds!
Today, Pie-Pacifique is a successful, content man, with an infectious smile. He is authoring his biography entitled, “Beyond Forgiveness”, and has a tragic yet redemptive tale of overcoming the odds to tell. He shared the intricate detail of the tragedy he witnessed, lived through as well as the intimacy of the relationship he shares with his mother.
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South Africa: Refugees and Asylum Seekers our Greatest Ally in Establishing Strong Community Bonds
Today, Ismail is part of this community, the cordial exchanges of greetings and chit-chat from the local community is a welcome sight despite previous incidents of blatant xenophobia in the past. His shop is a sprawling supermarket, a far cry from the business that was left with nothing following the looting of all those years back.
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Zimbabwe: A Stitch in Time
The smiles on the faces of the tailors in the dressmaking group tells its story, a story of contentment and appreciation. This is the first group that benefited from the Julia Taft Refugee Fund and received start up kits to start their own small business. They received industrial sewing machines, overlocking machines, tape measures, scissors, patterns as well as materials and threads. Upon graduation, the group received start-up kits that would enable them to start their own micro enterprises within the camp.
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Southern Africa: Speaking to JRS Southern Africa’s Regional Director - Radio Veritas Radio Slot
Father Holdcroft SJ, gave a broad description of the work JRS does across the Region in Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He spoke passionately about the work JRS does in the Region, what the plight is of displaced people in Southern Africa and what our efforts are at responding to this need.
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Malawi: JRS-JC:HEM Community Health CSLT Makes a Positive Difference!
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) along with Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM), has since 2010, been offering tertiary education in the form of - amongst others - a Diploma in Liberal Studies as well as Community Service Learning Tracks (CSLTs) for refugees in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, in Malawi. Tthe JRS-JC:HEM CSLTs aim to foster community leaders that are truly empowered through education. Young women in particular benefit from this opportunity as they receive both an education as well as a sense of empowerment as they form part of a broader community leadership.
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Southern Africa: JRS Southern Africa’s Maiden Radio Slot Has Aired; Further Great Content to Come
Johan Viljoen shed light on the unique circumstances faced by urban refugees in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Viljoen gave great insight into how projects relating to homebased healthcare, education, vocational skills training for adults, livelihoods assistance as well as emergency assistance for newly arrived refugees impacts on the refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people we assist.
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South Africa: Refugees and Blind in Johannesburg; Hope Amidst the Struggle
JRS has assisted the family, but it is their tenacity, their will to survive and their unending search for happiness that saw to them escaping their persecution and being able to raise their children in a healthy environment. The children, despite their disability are happy, having many friends to lead them about as the children play games in the courtyard of their apartment block.
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