Updates from JRS/USA
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From all of us at Jesuit Refugee Service – Happy Thanksgiving! This year has come with many unexepected challenges, but we are thankful to our supporters, friends, staff, and mostly importantly, the refugees we serve for demonstrating supreme resilience.
As renewed lockdowns have magnified sexual and gender-based violence for many women and girls, refugee families are not immune as they too are spending more time indoors where survivors may be more susceptible to abuse. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) works in numerous locations within these countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon. The report reveals that cases of domestic violence have soared with more than 70% of the interviewees reporting a rise in intimate partner abuse.
Since 2017, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has served in Bertoua, Batouri, and Garoua Boulai in East Cameroon. JRS provides pre-school and primary education to about 28,000 refugee and Cameroonian children, as well as vocational training and women´s empowerment projects.
Over the last 40 days, more than 400 JRS friends and supporters logged over 17,000 miles in solidarity with refugees. The miles were logged as part of JRS/USA’s virtual walk-a-thon leading up to JRS Day to celebrate our 40th Anniversary on Saturday, November 14.
Funding for Fiscal Year 2021 expires on December 11 and includes support for critical humanitarian and refugee assistance programs that meet the basic needs of displaced persons, including access to food, water, shelter, healthcare, and education.
Forty years ago, Fr. Pedro Arrupe founded Jesuit Refugee Service as a response to the needs of people who have been forced to flee their homes. The global Ignatian Family – including YOU – has been invited to recognize this day as JRS Day.
Pope Francis wrote to JRS International Director Father Tom Smolich, S.J. on the occasion of our 40th anniversary. In the letter he called on JRS staff and supporters to continue our important work and to “build a culture of closeness and encounter through your resolute advocacy of those whom you accompany each day.”
President-elect Joe Biden, only the second Catholic to be elected president announced for the first time since being elected that his administration would raise the presidential determination for refugees, the target number for admissions of refugees to be resettled in the United States, to 125,000 during an event for Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).
With the announcement that Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the US Presidential election, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA calls on his future Administration to carefully consider refugees and forcibly displaced people as they set a policy agenda.
For Media Inquiries Contact:
Sarah Carroll, Director of Communications