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France: JRS 'Welcome Project' offers more than space for refugees to live
(Rome) June 24, 2014 — Swastik came from a normal family in rural Bangladesh. Most of her life was not so different from those around her, until her sister was kidnapped and murdered and she was forced to flee for her life. For Swastik there was no way out: stay in Bangladesh and suffer in horrendous ways, or flee.
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Kenya: decades of refugee integration shaken
(Nairobi) June 26, 2014 – Imagine waking up one morning to find a story in the newspaper saying you have to move to a refugee camp. After fleeing your home and struggling for years to make a life for yourself in Kenya — learning the language, getting an education — you are being displaced again. This time you are being sent 500 miles away to the desert.
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Thailand: Hmong refugees from Vietnam live with fear
(Bangkok) April 28, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service estimates there are 7,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers struggling to survive in Bangkok, often spread out with little means of community interaction. The Vietnamese Hmong are one of the 40 nationality groups seeking asylum in the Thai capital.
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Kenya: building self-reliance among refugees and the host community
(Nairobi) January 1, 2014 — Staff from the Jesuit Refugee Service Urban Program in Nairobi organized the first in a series of workshops to offer refugees and local Kenyans technical assistance to enhance business and entrepreneurial skills, as well as access to interest-free loans.
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Thailand: marginalization in the metropolis
(Bangkok) November 26, 2013 – The term 'refugee' still conjures up images of thousands of tents lined up side-by-side, yet most of the more than 40 million forcibly displaced persons around the world live in urban areas. Living in small, marginalized communities, urban refugees are often ignored by local and international media.
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Working with Urban Refugees: A Handbook
(Washington, D.C.) May 22, 2013 — Since our inception in 1980, Jesuit Refugee Service has been actively engaged in developing programs of support to help urban refugees meet their needs and further their aspirations in urban environments.
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Kenya: xenophobia affects refugees in Nairobi
(Nairobi) May 24, 2013 — When the government of Kenya decided last December to order all refugees living in urban areas to move to camps and ceased registration of asylum seekers in urban areas, fear and hardship descended on the Kenyan capital. In particular Somali refugees, as well as Kenyans of Somali origin, have been subjected to increased harassment.
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Addressing the mental health needs of refugees
(Bangkok) July 19, 2013 — Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, while frequently overlooked by the governments, continue to plague more than 50 percent of all refugees and asylum seekers worldwide according to the World Health Organisation. Yet "policy makers frequently ignore the mental health needs of displaced persons," said Junita Calder of JRS Asia Pacific.
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Panama: JRS program helps urban refugees
(Colón, Panama) May 7, 2013 — Jesuit Refugee Service has made it a priority to work with "forgotten" refugees whose plight is overlooked by others. In this city of 220,000 people, many refugees from Colombia live in the shadows. Urban refugees often live a hand to mouth existence, facing a myriad of obstacles ranging from xenophobia to detention.
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Video: Global approach to urban refugee issues
(Washington, D.C.) April 27, 2012 - Jesuit Refugee Service has long recognized that serving urban refugee populations is a major challenge. Isolation, restrictive and inadequate government policies and resource constraints all take on increased significance in urban settings.
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Urban refugees in Turkey face daunting challenges
(Ankara) November 19, 2012 — Jesuit Refugee Service has worked in Turkey since 2011. Straddling continents, Turkey is both a destination and major crossroads for refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia awaiting resettlement or hoping to reach Europe. Three refugees from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq share their journey with us in this story.
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Turkey: refugees from Iraq struggle
(Ankara) January 8, 2013 — Thousands of people who fled the dangerous conditions of their home countries for safety now find themselves living as refugees in Turkey. Refugees from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia, hoping to reach Europe or awaiting resettlement, face new challenges.
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Turkey: Deadly winter is coming for Afghan refugees
(Ankara) November 19, 2012 – Refugees from Afghanistan are facing a harsh winter in Turkey this year. Jesuit Refugee Service has learned more than 8,900 Afghans have arrived in the country since May 31, mainly arriving in through Iran. It is believed that most are fleeing the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, but some may have been residing in Iran for some time.
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Ethiopia: Helping refugees adapt
(Addis Ababa) September 8, 2011 — Twenty-eight young refugees came together to discuss how to best adapt to a new country during a half-day panel discussion hosted by Jesuit Refugee Service on occasion of the UN International Youth Day at the Refugee Community Center here.
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Recent stories
The Refugee Voice: Hidden in Plain Sight
(Washington, D.C.) March 1, 2010 — Jesuit Refugee Service, one of the few organizations to assist refugees in urban settings worldwide, has long recognized the severe state of neglect of urban refugees, and has tried to address these needs.
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Serving urban refugees in South Africa
(Washington, D.C.) July 21, 2011 — There are about 50,000 registered refugees in South Africa, and about 250,000 people who are asylum-seekers awaiting refugee determination. The work of Jesuit Refugee Service on behalf of refugees in South Africa centers around helping refugees obtain access to the benefits that are theoretically available to them, but which are often difficult to obtain.
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Accompanying urban refugees in Ethiopia
(Washington, D.C.) July 19, 2011 — JRS operates two programs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The refugee community center — the only one of its kind in the city — offers language courses, library facilities, day-care services, computer classes and psychosocial support. The emergency needs program offers financial support and counseling services.
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Southern Africa: the rise of urban refugees
(Johannesburg) February 22, 2012 – In most of our minds the word refugee conjures up images of rows upon rows of tents or mud shelters stretching out to a dusty horizon. This tent city image further lends itself to a sense of temporariness and the associated idea that these people are awaiting rescue in the form of rapid resettlement to a western country or perhaps return to their homeland.
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New class provides path to self-sufficiency
(Kampala) April 4, 2011 - As part of a new initiative to help urban refugees become more self-reliant, Jesuit Refugee Service has started a new course: training refugees in the production of arts and handicrafts in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
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Video: JRS services for Urban Refugees
(Rome) June 20, 2010 — Jesuit Refugee Service provides a variety of aid to urban refugees, but perhaps the most important of these is education. "Education provides hope," says Fr. Peter Balleis, S.J., the International Director of JRS.
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Video: JRS focus on urban refugees
(Rome) June 20, 2010 — Urban refugees were not the focus at the very beginning of the Jesuit Refugee Service. At the time of JRS' founding, the classic image of refugees was the camp.
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Video: JRS accompanies Urban Refugees
(Rome) June 20, 2010 — From the beginning, Jesuit Refugee Service has made it a priority to work with "forgotten" refugees, those living in the shadows, whose plight is overlooked by others.
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Video: Advocacy in support of urban refugees
(Rome) June 20, 2010 — There are also urban refugees in Rome and in many cities in Europe. In Rome, the Centro Astalli has assisted urban refugees since 1981.
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Video: JRS and Urban Refugees
(Rome) June 20, 2010 — Jesuit Refugee Service, one of the few organizations to assist refugees in urban settings worldwide, has long recognized the severe state of neglect of urban refugees, and has tried to address these needs.
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Spotlight on refugees from Iraq
(Washington, D.C.) June 7, 2009 — More than two million Iraqis who are most in need of reassurance are refugees, including both those who fled the country during the rule of Sadaam Hussein, and those who have fled as a result of the turmoil that has gripped the country since he was deposed.
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Refugee Protection and Solutions in Urban Areas
(Washington, D.C.) December 4, 2009 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and our partners welcome the release of the “UNHCR Policy on Refugee Protection and Solutions in Urban Areas” and are pleased with the principles and general direction reflected in the document. It represents a considerable improvement over previous iterations of UNHCR’s policy and approach to these populations.
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