Today we continue to be invited by Fr Arrupe and by St Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, to look at the world in a deeply spiritual way. We see people “so diverse in dress and behaviour: some white and others black, some in peace and others at war, some weeping and others laughing, some healthy and others sick, some being born and others dying.” Due to unjust structures, a quarter of humanity lives on the edge, struggling to survive and maintain its dignity. More than 15 million of them are refugees, and over 38 million have been internally displaced in their own countries. Today’s major displacements are in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. People of Islamic faith and culture now make up 70% of all forcibly displaced persons. Half of the world’s refugees remain ‘invisible’ in urban areas. Refugees and asylum seekers are confronted with ever higher walls and frontiers of exclusion. They are denied their right to protection in a growing environment of hostility towards migrants and refugees. Their hopelessness is a threat to the future of our world. The JRS’ goal is a world free from frontiers, where people can move freely and securely – a world where the value of hospitality is extended to everyone.
In South Asia, the JRS is serving in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. There are now 25,000 Bhutanese refugees in Eastern Nepal. About 92,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in 8 different countries: 77,000 to USA, about 5000 each to Canada and Australia, and of the remaining 5000 resettled refugees - a few hundreds each to New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands and U.K. As a result of the continued resettlement process, the total number of students has come down to 5,279 studying in 7 schools. JRS, serving in partnership with CARITAS Nepal, continues to offer Vocational Training for school drop outs, vulnerable persons, and also for those who desire to get into entry level jobs in the resettled countries. It carries on with the CPC Program for children under five years of age. It serves persons with disability, catering to their different needs through occupational therapy, sign language and palliative care. It also offers Spoken English Language skills to adult learners. Youth Friendly activities, organized in the camps, have engaged the energies of the refugee youth in a positive direction. JRS continues to offer accompaniment to those in distress, assists the needy and vulnerable, and carries on advocacy for the cause of the refugees. In Tamilnadu-India, there are 66,509 Sri Lankan refugees in the 110 camps and 2 special camps. JRS provides formal and non-formal education, vocational training, community services, capacity building of camp leaders, women and youth, while offering advocacy training and protection to these refugees. In Sri Lanka, JRS is working for 675,000 internally displaced people. JRS supports the IDPs through programmes in education, vocational and skill-training, income-generation, assistance for farming and fishing communities. In Afghanistan, JRS is serving primarily in the field of education in Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan and Daikundi. It is engaged in teaching at Universities and the National Institute of Management and Administration; conducting the JC:HEM online education project at the Herat Technical Institute; conducting English language training for School teachers, and less-privileged youth; and in supporting the sustainable development of returnee communities. The JRS Regional Office in Delhi coordinates all these programmes, and has taken up entry-point activities in education and life-skills training for the Chin refugee community in West Delhi.
Fr StanislausFernandes (PUN) Ph: (011) 24635372 Regional Director, JRS-SA Fax: (011) 49534101 225, JorBagh Mob: (0) 9868862860 New Delhi 110 003 E-mail: <email@example.com>;<firstname.lastname@example.org>