Welcome to the website of JRS Southern Africa



Malawi: International Day of the Girl Child in first person
On International Day of the Girl Child, Diana, Makele and Christella invite us to celebrate the value and courage of all the girls who strive to learn every day. The three of them are beneficiaries of the Naweza Project in the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi. The project aims to empower refugee girls and increase their access to quality education and security.
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South Africa: JRS’s first Caregiving workshop, resilience and hope for a better future
Documentation and economic circumstances limit the resources or healthcare assistance available for those residing in a new country. The JRS first practical Caregiving Workshop offered theoretical and practical training on home based caregiving to almost 30 asylum seekers and refugees.
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Southern Africa region: Stories of talent and resilience on World Refugee Day 2019
World Refugee Day always reminds everybody of the increasing magnitude of people forced to leave their homes every year. However, it is also a day to celebrate and recognize the resilience and talent of all those who, despite countless struggles, learn and give their utmost best to their work and new communities. Learn about the stories of talent and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers in the Southern Africa region.
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South Africa: Towards dignity and social inclusion, JRS’s healthcare services
Access to health is a step towards dignity and social inclusion for those who had been forced to leave their country behind. JRS’s health team provides assistance to over 1000 refugees and asylum seekers through home care based services, counseling, as well as funding support.
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South Africa: Challenges on accessing healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers
Gugu Angela Mngadi brings her personal impressions regarding the challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees when accessing healthcare facilities in SA. A testimony based on her experience while volunteering for advocacy at the Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa (JRS) as a paralegal.

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South Africa: Human rights through the lenses of asylum seekers and refugees
This International Human Rights Day, we direct our attention towards a right considered to be one of the most crucial worldwide: access to adequate healthcare. Specifically, what that really means for asylum seekers and refugees living in South Africa.
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South Africa: Empowerment and skills for women’s development
Arrupe Skills Centre, run by the Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa in Johannesburg, offers vocational training to refugees, asylum seekers, and local women. Read more about the programmes and participants, and how education enhances their independence, self-esteem, and women's empowerment.
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South Africa: Estelle August on access to education
Approximately 165 refugee and asylum seeker parents came to listen to Estelle August -Deputy Chief Education Specialist at the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) in Johannesburg. Her workshop, conduced on the 13th of February, focused on the importance of access to education for all children living in South Africa.
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JRS Provides Home-based Healthcare in the Community
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international organization which aims to accompany, serve, and advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. One program area at JRS South Africa is a home-based healthcare program, where a team of eight JRS Healthcare Workers visit clients in their homes regularly, administer medications, and advocate for clients in the healthcare system. Papa Serge is one of many patience taken care of by the JRS home-based healthcare team.
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Baking Student Builds Successful Business
Gracia came to South Africa in 2017 and became a baking student at the JRS Pretoria Skills Centre. Since graduating, she has started a business to support her family and teaches two other women how to bake, free of charge.
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Recent stories
Refugee Voices: Advocating Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Caaliyah* fled Somalia at the age of 15 after her mother was killed by Al Shabaab. She eventually arrived in South Africa, where she is an asylum-seeker. She is a strong advocate against Femail Genital Mutilation, a ritual she endured at age 8.
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JRS Healthcare Workers in the Community
Coming to South Africa with dreams of being a medical doctor, Martin soon learned he had cancer. JRS has been by his side every step of the way through his treatment and recovery.
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Refugee Voices: Overcoming Religious Persecution and Abuse
Abeba* is a 38 years old mother of five kids who escaped from Eritrea in 2011. Like many of her fellow refugees, Abeba escaped from Eritrea to Sudan for security reasons after been attacked from practicing her religion, Pente. Since coming to South Africa, Abeba's husband was abusive and left her after their fifth child was born with disabilities. With JRS' help, the child is able to attend preschool and receive physical and speech therapy regularly.
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South Africa: Hairdressing Success
In 2008, Yvonne fled from Burundi with her five-year-old daughter. When she arrived, she didn’t know anyone and was given one week to stay in the country by Home Affairs. After many repeated visits, she gained status as an asylum-seeker. While in Burundi, Yvonne made money by selling food, but she did not have money to buy inventory to start selling again. She could not find work in South Africa for over one year. She completed the JRS Skill Centre training in hairdressing and now runs a salon in Pretoria.
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JRS Elderly Program: Sharing Talents, Inspiring Confidence and Joy
Johannesburg, 16 September 2018—Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) South Africa offers a program for the elderly called “Old Age is a Time of Grace” through the Pastoral Care Department, under the supervision of Fr. Vaidas Lukosevicius, SJ and Marie-Christine Boudier. Through this weekly program, participants engage in activities to stimulate mind, body, and spirit together as a community.
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Refugee Voices: Facing Xenophobia in the Health System
After facing gang rape and the killing of her husband in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Victoria* fled to South Africa where she has faced particular challenges in the health care system. JRS provides Victoria support and hope through the Women of Power support group.
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South Africa: Fulfilling JRS’ Mission through Communication
Johannesburg, 2 August 2018--JRS South Africa held an informative communications workshop for all of its staff. The goal of the workshop was to equip all staff with the necessary skills to share their clients stories, making the world more aware of the challenges and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa.
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Malawi: Naweza Conference to Empower Refugee Girls
Dzaleka Camp, 11 August 2018-- On Saturday, August 11th, the first ever Naweza Girls Conference was held at Dzaleka Refugee camp in the Red Cross Hall. The conference was as part of the Naweza project, a partnership between the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the Fidel Götz Foundation that aims to empower refugee girls, increase their access and improve the quality of their education, security and overall well-being. The event marked the official launch the Naweza project in Dzaleka camp, Malawi.
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Refugee Voices: Triple the Blessings
After experiencing tragedy during the Rwandan Genocide, Aisha fled to the Congo and eventually found safety in South Africa. Aisha has had a complex battle with HIV and other health complications. She now lives in a one room apartment with her three two-year old children, with the help of Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa.
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Angola: JRS Holds Debate on Refugee Situation
Luanda, 10 August 2018—Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) held a debate on "The situation of refugees in Angola" with the aim of promoting dialogue amongst partners and human rights defenders in civil society. Bringing together actors in this space can build stronger solutions to the barriers refugees and asylum seekers face in Angola.

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