Welcome to the website of JRS Southern Africa



Umoja: breaking down barriers and opening doors for people with disabilities in Malawi
Fidel Musiri is a graduate of the Community Service Learning Track (CSLT) in Special Needs. Aiming to fill the gap in disability services at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, he founded the Umoja People with Disabilities Project and the Respite Care Center, two organizations working toward the betterment of lives for people with disabilities in Dzaleka and its surrounding villages.
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Graduation Ceremony at the Arrupe Learning Center, Dzaleka Refugee Camp
Mark and Keros are among the 19 young men and women who graduated with a Diploma in Liberal Studies from Regis University on July 28th at the JRS run Arrupe Learning Center in Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Here they talk of the significance of this momentous occasion in their lives and share their hopes for the future.
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World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
On the occasion of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, JRS joined a group of faith-based organizations in issuing an official statement calling for more protective measures, particularly towards migrants and refugees who are among the most vulnerable to human trafficking.
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Simple Innovation to Save Lives from Drowning
An all girls team of students from the JRS run Dzaleka Secondary School, Malawi, won the prestigious Scientific and Technological Innovation Award at the National Schools Science Fair (NSSF). The team took home the award for their invention of a lifejacket made of polythene sheets and plastic bottles!
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Angola: Thousands of refugees from DRC in urgent need of assistance
Dundo, 17 May 2017 - “The situation here is desperately urgent. Thousands of Congolese are fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo and seeking refuge in neighbouring Angola,” reports Tim Smith, JRS Regional Director of Southern Africa, from his visit to north east Angola.
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Malawi: Dzaleka secondary students compete in national Math Olympiad, look to the future
Dzaleka, 15 February 2017 - Three students from the JRS-run Dzaleka Community Secondary School made school history by being the school's first-ever participants in Malawi's nationwide Math Olympiad, a week-long math competition held at Mzuzu University in January.
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Global: bringing light to the child migrants in our midst
Rome, 17 November 2016 – On the occasion of Universal Children's Day on November 20th, we echo Pope Francis' appeal "to adopt every possible measure to guarantee the protection and safety of child migrants." In this time of epic human displacement, "children constitute the most vulnerable group, because as they face the life ahead of them, they are invisible and voiceless".
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Malawi: teacher training in context
Lilongwe, 16 November 2016 — In late 2015, about 12,000 Mozambicans crossed the border to Malawi to seek refuge from political upheaval and violence in their home province. Though many have now returned home, about 2000 have remained in Malawi due to the ongoing unrest. These refugees have been settled in a small village called Luwani, whose previous population numbered just a few hundred Malawians.
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JRS South Africa host U.S. State Department officials
(Johannesburg) November 8, 2016 — Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, visited Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa's Urban Refugee Program November 1, to listen to and learn about the challenges faced by vulnerable refugees — survivors of SGBV and refugees from the LGBTI community.
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Malawi: From Almost Dying in the Forest to Being a Medical Doctor; A Refugee’s Inspirational Story
Her diminutive size and stature belies her maturity and immense achievements she has accomplished. Listening to Mirreille Twayigira’s story now, it is difficult to believe that she almost lost her life as a child as a result of malnutrition and exhaustion, in the forests of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and Angola.
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Recent stories
Southern Africa: JRS Southern Africa Welcomes a New Regional Director as it bids Farewell to Father David Holdcroft SJ
After six years of selfless service, Father David Holdcroft SJ has moved on as Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Southern Africa Regional Director. His skills and talent will be applied elsewhere within JRS, at the International Office level. Staff, refugees, asylum seekers and many other people he has come into contact with, will most certainly miss him dearly.

However, with the sad news of his departure, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud, his replacement, the newly appointed Regional Director, Tim Smith, is certainly a competent and worthy replacement.
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Zimbabwe: The Grinding Mill, Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of all at Tongogara
Maize meal, cooked into a porridge, is a Southern African staple and forms an essential part of the diet of the people of Tongogara. It is nutritious and cheap and can be turned into large, filling meals. To stretch their dollars, the refugees and asylum seekers in the camp- like many of the locals in the surrounding areas - have opted to buy maize instead of maize meal. Maize on the cob is cheaper than the already processed maize and so the people of Tongogara had to venture into the surrounding communities and pay for the services of grinding mills.
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Malawi: It all started at Kapise
As of December 2015, a number of asylum seekers from Mozambique crossed into neighbouring Malawi. Kapise, in the Mwanza District of Malawi, lies adjacent to Mozambique and is a community of small villages scattered throughout the hills. No fence, river or any such impediment divides the two countries and so by January 2016, approximately 11 000 refugees had made their way into Malawi, along a dirt road that disappears over the horizon. These asylum seekers sought safety, on the hills of Kapise as a result of renewed fighting in the rural villages of Mozambique.
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South Africa: Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of Women, This Women’s Month
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), South Africa recognises that what gives meaning to the month of women in South Africa is practical, real opportunities that give women an opportunity to be self-reliant and financially independent. Through the office based in Pretoria, JRS provides livelihood’s skills training for refugee and asylum seeking women at the Arrupe Women’s Centre.
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Zimbabwe: The Life of a Refugee, Testament to the Prevailing Human Spirit
Today, Rose Kabela-Thumba is sharing her expertise with other refugees through Jesuit Refugee Service’s (JRS) Vocational Skills Training (VST) Programme as a refugee volunteer, cosmetology teacher. Her life away from the country of her birth, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), now in Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe is not ideal, however she is now able to make a life for herself and her family.
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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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