Southern Africa: Mercy in Motion – Providing Hope Through Education
22 December 2015

(Clockwise, Top Left Corner) The JRS-JC:HEM compound at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, with students using the internet to study. (Top Right Corner) Saint Michael Secondary School at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe, a school built by JRS. (Bottom Right Corner) The Secondary School at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, in the care of JRS. (Bottom Left Corner) A Primary School, accommodating 91 children, built by JRS in Nzaji, Lunda Norte Province, Angola.
JRS Southern Africa remains committed to bringing knowledge to people living in motion, to the 60 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes.

Southern Africa Region, 22 December 2015 – Whether in the urban setting of Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa or Luanda and Nzaji in Angola, or the camp setting of Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe or Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in the Southern Africa Region has brought education to refugees and asylum seekers.

From the high quality tertiary education provided through the JRS-JC:HEM (Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins) Programme and its Community Service Learning Tracks at Dzaleka, to the Primary School in Nzaji that caters for 90 refugee and local children, JRS has provided a quality education for children and adults alike throughout the region.

Pope Francis’ words at his recent address to his audience of JRS staff, beneficiaries and friends at the recent 35th Anniversary celebrations of JRS, at the Vatican, clearly articulates what we aim to achieve through our mission: “To give a child a seat at school is the finest gift you can give. All [JRS’] programmes have this ultimate aim: to help refugees grow in self-confidence, to realise their highest inherent potential and be able to defend their rights as individuals and communities.”

At JRS we truly stretch ourselves to give refugees that self-confidence. As one example, we, through the JRS-JC:HEM Programme encourage and grow a group of young adults into community leaders.

The Video Below is the 3rd Cohort of JRS-JC:HEM Graduation Held on the 25th September 2015:

JRS at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, where the JRS-JC:HEM Programme is based in the Southern Africa Region, comprehensively accommodates all the educational needs of the residents of the Camp. With a nursery school, primary school and secondary school, built by and run by JRS, thousands of children in the camp and from surrounding local communities, are given a quality education that will ensure that these children have a future to look forward to.

In Zimbabwe, at Tongogara Refugee Camp, JRS has recently completed the construction of a wing at Saint Michael’s Secondary School, and here too, we are responsible for school’s efficient running. Within the urban setting of Johannesburg and Pretoria, JRS provides support to children by facilitating their enrolment in local schools within the community. Here we also assist with uniforms, school fees, where needed and other support that may be required.

In Nzaji, in the north-eastern Province of Lunda Norte, in Angola, JRS built the primary school in 2010, after recognising the fact that the children of refugees in Nzaji needed an education. JRS erected the building, but the Lunda Norte Provincial Authority is responsible for the continued running of the school and the employment of teachers.

Adult education is essential as well. Take the case of Anastacia Lucilia, a refugee in Angola, who due to conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville, lived a constantly transient life. She was denied an education for most of her life resulting in her only managing to reach the third grade as her highest educational qualification. Her case is not unique, many refugees and displaced persons like her, have been denied a formal education and as adults it would be nearly impossible for many to pursue their education formally.

Therefore, through our Vocational Skills Training (VST) Programmes, across the region, we equip adults with training in beadwork, handicrafts, sewing, crocheting, knitting, baking, computer skills, carpentry, juice making, catering, business skills and even automotive repairs to enable them to start small businesses that allow them to not only provide for themselves and their families, but employ the services of locals in their host nations as well. These VST projects exist across the region, has yielded many positive results and work within an urban and camp environment, equally well.

 The Video Below showcases all our educational programmes across the JRS Southern Africa Region:

In line with the JRS, Mercy in Motion Campaign, which aims to provide educational services to 100,000 more refugees than we do currently at JRS, across the world, by the year 2020, JRS Southern Africa remains committed to bringing knowledge to people living in motion, to the 60 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes.


Press Contact Information
Gushwell F. Brooks
+27 11 618 3404