Newsroom
With a regional staff of more than 200 in eastern Africa, the Jesuit Refugee Service is a key source for journalists who seek information on the latest issues on forced displacement in the region. Journalists visiting this site have access to press releases, latest news affecting refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, updates from JRS projects and activities, speeches, special features and more.

JRS programmes in eastern Africa are implemented through five country offices and a large network of partners, and annually benefit more than 105,000 people in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Our regional office, based in Nairobi, can provide updates in emergencies and access to field staff and can provide detailed information on JRS programmes and advocacy priorities.

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact our communications staff.

For all other inquiries please call +254 20 3874152
Video: counselling services help refugees in Kakuma begin to heal
Washington DC, 6 October 2014 — One of the objectives of the Jesuit Refugee Service programmes in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya is to improve the psychological well-being of and the reduction of stress-related health problems of refugees at the camp.
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Kenya: graduates celebrate past achievements and hopeful futures in Kakuma refugee camp
Kakuma, 29 September 2014 – A busy road in Kakuma refugee camp comes alive with shops selling vivacious Tanzanian fabrics, Ethiopian cafes serving espresso shots, families collecting remittances at Somali banks and a micro-version of a university campus offering online higher education to talented refugees.
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Kenya/ Malawi: refugee graduates work, study and service their communities
Rome, 22 September 2014 – For the second consecutive year, refugee students in camps in Kenya and Malawi will graduate from an online Liberal Arts Diploma programme managed by Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education on the Margins (JC:HEM). JRS has found that the most graduates are likely to find employment or continue their studies, and nearly all the students engage in service to their communities.
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Ethiopia: now home to largest number of refugees in Africa
Washington DC, 25 August 2014 — The UN refugee agency reported last week that Ethiopia is now the largest host country of refugees in Africa, surpassing Kenya. At the end of July, Ethiopia was home to more than 629,000 refugees, while neighboring Kenya hosts more than 575,000.
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Kenya: JRS accompanies and serves new South Sudanese refugees
Kakuma, 31 January 2014 - The situation at the Kakuma Refugee Camp is growing quite dire with more numbers of refugees being recorded each day. Agencies are grappling with a new need to find additional resources to respond to the current influx from South Sudan as it had not been anticipated.
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Kenya: Kakuma Refugee Camp receives new influx of South Sudanese refugees
Kakuma, 20th January, 2014 - Kakuma Refugee Camp has recently seen a steady influx of new arrivals from South Sudan due to the conflict being witnessed there. As the situation gets worse, more and more refugees continue to flee their homes in search of safety . At the Old Reception centre, tents filled with desperate families can be seen with stories recounted of how dire the situation is in Africa’s newest nation.
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Jesuits urge peaceful resolution to South Sudan crisis
(Washington, D.C.) January 8, 2014 — “We encourage all our friends and well-wishers of South Sudan, wherever they may be, to do all they can to advocate on behalf of South Sudan for a speedy, just and peaceful resolution of the current crisis,” said Jesuit Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, Provincial of East Africa.
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JRS Notice: To whom it may concern.
Nairobi, 28 October 2013 - It has come to the attention of Jesuit Refugee Service, that there are persons who are illegally and fraudulently using the name of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), and falsely pretending that they act on behalf of the Board of Directors with a view to extract money from innocent and unknowing third parties.
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Kenya: Pioneer Diploma class graduation ceremony in Kakuma
Kakuma, 11 September 2013 - Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC-HEM) holds the first graduation ceremony for diploma students in Kakuma refugee camp on Monday, 23rd September, 2013 from 10:00 am at the JRS Arrupe Learning Centre. The students graduating began the programme in September 2010 and are now just completing their three year program. JRS is very proud of the students’ dedication to their studies and are excited to share this experience with you on this tremendous achievement.
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South Sudan: Journey begins in the quest for education in Western Equatoria
Yambio, South Sudan, 18 February 2013 - The education infrastructure in Western Equatoria state of South Sudan has contributed to the rate of poor school enrollment and drop-outs. Many of the schools in the state are temporary and semi permanent with just a few permanent ones. Most schools do not have desks and chairs for the pupils. Consequently, students use logs, stumps, stones and blocks as seats.
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JRS South Sudan video
Nairobi, 17 December 2012 – JRS-Eastern Africa is proud to present a video showing its work in South Sudan since 1997 working with people internally displaced due to the civil war and war-affected persons. The objective of the JRS South Sudan video is to document the main successes and impacts of JRS’s work in South Sudan over 15 years (1997 - 2012).
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Ethiopia: From peace in the home to peace in the world - Sixteen Days of Activism Against SGBV
Addis Ababa, 13 December 2012 – Despite increased awareness and action to combat Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), women and men continue to experience violation of their rights. Incidents of sexual or physical assaults, rape, forced marriage, emotional abuse, denial of resources occur in families and communities worldwide.
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Tributes – Angelo Lagu, JRS South Sudan Country Director
May Lagu Rest in Peace!!!
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Angelo Lagu - A tribute
Nairobi, 7 December 2012 - It is with profound sadness that JRS Eastern Africa announces the sudden and tragic demise of our colleague Lagu Angelo, JRS South Sudan Country Director on the evening of Thursday 6th December 2012. Mr Lagu had just finalised the handover of the Nimule compound and assets to the Representatives of the Catholic Diocese of Torit in Nimule and was on his way home to Loa when he met his fateful death at around 6.30pm through a tragic road accident. Mr. Lagu is survived by his wife (Mrs Joyce Lagu), 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Apart from his immediate family, he was also taking care of his mother, his sister, and other relatives. In this painful moment, may we all join together to pray for the family and provide any support that is necessary.
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Kenya: The meaning of food
Nairobi, 2 November 2012 – Food aid often draws complex reactions from the international community. Many believe it to be unsustainable and a drain on resources. My internship with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) taught me that while food aid is not sustainable, and is not designed to be so, the success of longer-term strategies requires food provision and/or the meeting of other basic needs as an essential, short-term component.
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South Sudan: Spreading the message of peace on-air
Kajo Keji, 10 October 2012 – This month, the community of Kajo Keji will have their final opportunity to tune into a Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)-hosted live radio talk show. This popular and much-appreciated local programme has greatly raised awareness of peace issues in the community.
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Ethiopia: Harnessing youth potential
Addis Ababa, 18 September 2012 – Forced to flee from everything known to them, young refugees and asylum seekers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, often have a blurry sense of their own identity and personal goals. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Refugee Community Centre (RCC) seeks to provide structured guidance on how to handle their unpredictable lives. JRS mentoring, support and training is essential to help these young people strive for a positive future and avoid negative coping mechanisms.
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South Sudan: Nimule celebrates 15 years with JRS
Nimule, 14 September 2012 – The curtains finally came down on the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Nimule project last month as the entire community joined together to ensure a fitting end to the project. Present in Nimule for 15 years, the 24 August closing ceremony marked an important milestone in the history of JRS accompaniment, service and advocacy with refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan.
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South Sudan: Catechists prepare for the Year of Faith
Yei, 13 September 2012 – Catechists trained by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Yei, South Sudan, ended a recent three-day workshop on a high note exclaiming: "We want more!" The 23 participants met earlier this month to discuss key topics such as leadership in the church, the journey of faith, and church history.
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South Sudan: Teacher development is the backbone of JRS
Kajo Keji, 12 September 2012 – A one-day discussion to review the impact of the JRS-supported School Development Team (SDT) concept in South Sudanese schools revealed the programme helps promote enhanced professionalism and quality of teaching in the schools.
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Kenya: second time in Kakuma camp
Kakuma, 30 August 2012 – Many South Sudanese are again being forced into displacement and returning for a second time to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, according to JRS field staff there.
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Ethiopia: building mental strength
Addis Ababa, 30 August 2012 – The importance of building mental strength and learning coping mechanisms during forced displacement was emphasised at a recent Jesuit Refugee Service life skills workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ability of refugees to face adverse situations with a positive attitude links closely to general wellbeing, employability and relationship building.
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South Sudan: JRS involvement winds down as communities take over
South Sudan, 30 August 2012 – At the end of 2012, Jesuit Refugee Service will officially close the last of its four current projects in South Sudan, focused on education, pastoral accompaniment and peace building. The decision to exit from these successful projects, was made in line with the JRS mandate of attending to the needs of the forcibly displaced in situations of great need.
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World Humanitarian Day
Nairobi August 17, 2012 — The United Nations World Humanitarian Day is this Sunday, August 19. The day is a time to recognise those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are.
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News archive
Kenya: higher education programme starts running on solar
Kakuma, 30 July 2012 – Technological and environmental advances in the Jesuit Refugee Service higher education programme in northern Kenya have made power cuts a thing of the past for the students taking liberal studies.
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Global: Jesuit Refugee Service joins international campaign to stop rape and gender violence in conflict
Rome, 28 June 2012 – Earlier this month, Jesuit Refugee Service officially signed on as a member of the latest civil society coalition, the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict.
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International: G20 summit, an opportunity for world leaders to put refugee hospitality at the heart of globalisation
World Refugee Day press release Rome, 18 June 2012 – Over the next two days, the leaders of the G20 nations will make difficult decisions regarding the stability of the global economy. In conmemoration of World Refugee Day, 20 June, the Jesuit Refugee Service urges world leaders to place social cohesion at the core of their decision-making process, and not lose sight of the needs of more than 45 million forcibly-displaced migrants worldwide.
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South Sudan: students from JRS schools obtain the highest grades
South Sudan, 29 May 2012 – Many of the nation's highest achieving students attended schools supported by JRS, according to performance evaluations recently published by the South Sudan Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI).
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Kenya: we are our brother's keeper
Nairobi, 25 May 2012 – It is always possible to find a beam of hope, even when life seems too hard to bear. This is the message I heard from a group of urban refugees in Kitengela, Nairobi. The group members express their compassion for each other by meeting every two weeks for prayers and moral support. They embody the concept of being 'their brother's keeper.'.
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Kenya: storytelling for change
Kakuma, 4 May 2012 – An enthusiastic and creative group of 33 refugees gathered at the Arrupe Learning Centre in Kakuma Refugee Camp last week to learn about communications and writing. Two workshops were organised to develop skills related to the written word – stories, testimonies and personal reflections – as a means of helping those outside the camp to understand life there and relate to the journey and plight of refugees. Stories from the refugees will be published online in the future.
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Global approach to urban refugee issues
(Bangkok) March 31, 2012 — To Berlin, Bogotá, Bangkok. UN statistics show that most refugees around the world are going to cities. But do they all face similar obstacles in their new host cities? Are there common approaches Jesuit Refugee Service can take to serve refugees living in urban areas? At a recent meeting, JRS staff from more than 25 countries gave a qualified yes to these questions.
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Higher Education at the Margins charts future course
(Denver) March 13, 2012 — The first Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins Think Tank at Regis University came to a conclusion March 8 with a final round of spirited discussions, poignant presentations and the promise of recommendations that will guide the organization’s future in bring Jesuit higher education to those at the margins of our society.
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Expanding Higher Education at the Margins
(Denver) March 7, 2012 — Participants at the first international Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins 'Think Tank' at Regis University hope to expand the vision and outreach of JC:HEM to empower those at the very edges of our societies through access to Jesuit higher education, so that together we may foster hope to create a more peaceful and humane world.
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South Sudan: Cycling for peace in Nimule
Nimule, 22 February 2012 – JRS peace facilitators in Nimule, South Sudan, have been given the unique opportunity to meet the needs of their communities more effectively with the purchase of nine brand new bicycles.
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South Sudan: Tore Women’s Group profits from grinding mill
Yei, 4 February 2012 – An entrepreneurial women's group based in Yei, South Sudan, has seen profits grow quickly after the recent installation of a JRS-funded grinding mill. The mill is set to improve the livelihoods of 24 women and their families.
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Ethiopia: workshop on gender equality inspires behaviour change
Addis Ababa, 02 February 2012 – An inspirational workshop has provided a group of refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia with an appreciation of gender roles and equality as a basis to work towards behavioural change.
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South Sudan: last group of JRS-supported teachers graduate
Nimule, 18 January 2012 – The last group of teachers officially graduated from their training programme in December as the Jesuit Refugee Service prepares to wind down activities in South Sudan.
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Ethiopia: activities underway in Dollo Ado, more to start soon
Dollo Ado, 18 January 2012 – Towards the end of 2011, JRS officially opened the first phase of its latest project, offering long-term assistance to Somali refugees in Melkadida camp, Dollo Ado, through education services, psychosocial counselling, and sports and recreational activities for young people. JRS seeks to provide tangible skills to Somali refugees in Melkadida camp ensuring their time spent in exile is not wasted.
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Ethiopia: educational and recreational visit renews hope
Addis Ababa, 16 December 2011 – With information and care, there is every reason to believe the number of women with fistula could be drastically reduced. This is what the more than 100 students from the JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) in Addis Ababa heard on a recent visit to a rehabilitation centre for women on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital.
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Uganda: Taking care of more than the educational needs of refugees
Kampala, 21 October 2011 – In late September what at first glance seemed like a routine trip to the zoo, went a long way to bringing normality and as such important psychosocial benefits to refugee students in the JRS English class in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
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Uganda: Burundian refugees concerned for their safety
Kampala, 21 October 2011 – Refugees from Burundi are concerned for their safety, citing the effects of increasing violence and corruption at home and a challenging asylum process in Uganda as the main sources of insecurity in their lives.
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South Sudan: Promoting self-reliance among women
Nimule, 13 September 2011 – Sixty women in three sub-counties of Magwi County, South Sudan, now have an independent source of income baking bread, after JRS constructed three ovens for them.
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Ethiopia: Changing perceptions about health and FGM
Addis Ababa, 12 September 2011 – Thirty asylum seekers and undocumented refugees learned how to stay healthy by participating in a four-day workshop organised by JRS on how to promote health and prevent diseases in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
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South Sudan: Promoting education as a tool of development and peace
Lobone,8 September 2011 – Every year on September 8 since 1965,the world commemorates International Literacy Day to draw attention to the importance of education as a fundamental human right,a tool for personal empowerment and a means for development.
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South Sudan: Teachers empowered to help other teachers
Lobone, 29 August 2011 – Seven teachers from three community-run secondary schools in Lobone, South Sudan, have acquired sufficient knowledge to help their fellow teachers with lesson preparation, observation, presentation and efficient classroom communication after participating in a three day workshop.
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Ethiopia: JRS to help Somali refugee children
Nairobi/Dollo Ado, 16 August 2011 – JRS Eastern Africa Director, Frido Pflueger SJ, just came back from a visit to the Dollo Ado refugee camps in south-east Ethiopia. In an interview he describes his impressions of the situation on the ground and explains how JRS will become involved.
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Ethiopia: Helping young refugees adapt to their new home
Addis Ababa, 12 August 2011– Twenty-eight young refugees came together to discuss how to best adapt to a new country during a half-day panel discussion hosted by JRS on occasion of the UN International Youth Day at the Refugee Community Center in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
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Eastern Africa: States pledge immediate assistance to Somali crisis
Nairobi, 29 July 2011 – The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) called on states to contribute 300 million US dollars for emergency relief over the next three months and a further 1.6 billion US dollars over the next 12 months.
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Kenya: Increase of sexual violence among urban refugees
Nairobi, 28 July 2011 – Sexual violence seems to be on the increase among refugees in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.Since the beginning of this year, more refugees have spoken out about being victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
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Eastern Africa: Appeal for Somalis
Nairobi, Rome, Washington DC, 26 July 2011 – In the midst of one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent times affecting the Horn of Africa, the Jesuit Refugee Service has announced plans to step up ongoing work for Somalis in Ethiopia and Kenya, and establish new services in the former.
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Kenya: Protection centre for women and children extended
Kakuma, 20 July 2011 – In June 2011, Jesuit Refugee Service Kakuma began constructing four additional rooms in its "Safe Haven" protection centre, hosting women and children who are survivors of gender based violence.
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Ethiopia: Asylum seekers learn how to run a business
Addis Ababa, 18 July 2011 – Eighteen asylum seekers and undocumented refugees now have sufficient knowledge to start their own business, after participating in a four-day workshop in basic business skills, organised by JRS in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
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International: JRS publishes booklet on advocacy
Rome, 15 July 2011 – The Jesuit Refugee Service has issued its latest publication demonstrating how the organisation is involved in the empowerment of forcibly displaced persons, assisting them to gain access to the rights to which they are entitled.
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Ethiopia: Increase humanitarian assistance for African refugees
Addis Ababa, 14 July 2011 – According to the programme coordinator of Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), Mekonnen Shewarega, the protracted nature of displacement in the region and the increasing flows of refugees are devouring the limited financial and material resources allocated to the country by developed nations.
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South Sudan: A new nation is born
Nairobi, 11 July 2011 – History was made when South Sudan was declared the world's newest and Africa's 54th nation on July 9, after decades of war and oppression.
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Eastern Africa: Expanding refugee protection, 60 years after the adoption of the Geneva Convention
Nairobi, 20 June 2011 – Despite the 'temporary nature' of international protection envisaged by the refugee convention, 60 years after its formal adoption, the refugee problem not only still exists, if anything it has become more complex. Over the years the forms of and actors responsible for persecution have changed, exacerbated by political, social and economic injustices, by both state and non-state actors worldwide.
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Uganda: Spreading environmental awareness among refugees
Kampala, 13 June 2011 – Forty refugees and asylum seekers had the opportunity to learn more about environmental protection during an information session organised by JRS on the occasion of the UN Environmental Day, celebrated on June 5.
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Ethiopia: What it takes to live a fulfilled family life
Addis Ababa, 23 May 2011 – Almost 30 asylum seekers and undocumented refugees who otherwise have very little access to services and information had a chance to learn what it takes to live a happy and fulfilled family life during a three-day workshop held by JRS in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
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Uganda: Substance abuse, the struggle is far from over
Kitgum, 20 May 2011 – Although much has been achieved in the last four years of JRS's counselling training and public awareness projects, a lot still needs to be done to eradicate substance abuse among returnee communities in northern Uganda.
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Ethiopia: Refugee team narrowly defeated but players leave inspired
Addis Ababa, 17 May 2011 – Although the refugee football team lost the match against the university students, they left with a greater understanding of their host society and a desire to further their education.
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Southern Sudan: Classroom construction in Kajo Keji completed
Kajo Keji, 11 May 2011 – The children of Tipere, Southern Sudan, can now study in better conditions, after JRS handed the keys to a new classroom block over to the education director of Kajo Keji County.
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Kenya: Group counselling for single mothers started
Kakuma, 18 April 2011 – Single refugee mothers can now receive group counselling in Kakuma refugee camp, after JRS launched the second part of a new pilot programme.
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Uganda: Urban refugees learn skills in arts and crafts
Kampala, 4 April 2011 – As part of a new initiative to help urban refugees become more self-reliant, JRS has started a new course, training refugees in the production of arts and handicrafts in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
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Uganda: Congolese primary student scores highest
Kampala, 31 March 2011 – This academic year, a JRS-sponsored Congolese primary four student, fulfilled a promise to himself by scoring the highest grade in his class.
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Southern Sudan: Celebration of commitment to women’s rights
Kajo Keji, 31 March 2011 – More than 300 civil society organisations and official representatives gathered to celebrate their commitment to women’s rights.
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Kenya: pioneer a new approach to higher education
Nairobi/Kakuma, 21 March 2011 - Chris Lowney, President of Jesuit Commons, was in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya) for the official launch of the Jesuit Commons – Higher Education at the Margins project. In an interview with JRS Eastern Africa, he explains his understanding of education and leadership in a refugee-related context and shares his impression of the camp and the people living there.
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Uganda: JRS empowers IDPs in the north
Kitgum, 7 March 2011 - While northern Uganda continues to recover from a more than two decade long conflict, JRS prepares returnees to fully take charge of their lives.
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Kenya: JRS launches new certificate programme for refugees in Kakuma
Kakuma, 28 February 2011 – Refugees in Kakuma refugee camp are now able to study for a certificate in social services, after JRS launched its first certificate programme as part of a higher education initiative.
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Southern Sudan: JRS targets key problems in primary schools
Juba, 21 February 2011 – Following external evaluations in three JRS projects in Southern Sudan last year, JRS will now focus on targeting key problems in primary education.
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Uganda: JRS builds houses for 50 formerly displaced in the north
Kitgum, 22 February 2011 – Fifty formerly displaced persons were able to return home to their villages after JRS built small houses for them.
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Southern Sudan: JRS pilots mother tongue instruction in six primary schools
Kajo Keji, 22 February 2011 – In collaboration with county education officials, head teachers, and community members, JRS has started mother tongue instruction in six schools in Kajo Keji County, Southern Sudan.
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Uganda: Northerners doubtful about benefit of elections
Kitgum, 18 February 2011 – More than two million northerners, majority of whom are formerly internally displaced persons (IDPs), will vote in today’s presidential and parliamentary elections but many doubt the polls will bring any real benefit to their lives.
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Southern Sudan: JRS changes approach to ensure quality education
Kajo Keji, 8 February 2011 – Using the results of an external evaluation of JRS activities in Kajo Keji last October, JRS has changed its approach to ensure quality education in 2011.
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Sudan: Sudan to split in July
Juba, 8 February 2011 – The people of Southern Sudan have overwhelmingly voted for independence according to the final referendum results announced on Monday in Khartoum.
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Ethiopia: Urban refugees learn about issues affecting women in developing countries
Addis Ababa, 27 January 2011 – As part of its mandate to empower refugees through the provision non-formal education, this year’s JRS annual trip focused on raising their awareness of obstetric fistula (or vaginal fistula), a disease affecting women in developing countries largely caused during child birth, as well as sexual violence, particularly gang rape.
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Sudan: Overwhelming vote in favour of southern independence
Juba, 27 January 2011 – According to sources reported by Voice of America, more than 90 percent of Southern Sudanese have voted in favour of independence.
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Southern Sudan: Turnout in referendum reaches 60 percent
Nairobi, 16 January 2011 – According to officials from the ruling Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), turnout in the referendum has reached 60 percent, the percentage needed to validate the results of the vote on self-determination.
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Southern Sudan: Catechists are the face of the church
Yei, 14 December 2010 – In countries where laity far exceeds the clergy, catechists, rather than priests often lead the Catholic Church.
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Southern Sudan: More than 100 Sudanese trained in income generation
Nimule, 12 January 2011 – Skills of peace club members in income generation and sustainable development are expected to improve after JRS trained more than 100 Sudanese on fund raising, management and saving in areas around Nimule, Southern Sudan.
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Southern Sudan: Spanish ambassador visits schools in Nimule
Nimule, 16 December 2010 – The Spanish ambassador to Sudan and Eritrea has visited schools and activities sponsored by the Spanish government and implemented by JRS in Nimule, Southern Sudan.
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Ethiopia: Sudanese girl second in Ethiopian children’s run
Addis Ababa, 16 December 2010 — An eight-year-old Sudanese girl almost won a charity children’s run, staged on occasion of the Great Ethiopian Run, carried out annually in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
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Southern Sudan: Archbishop’s visit supports 101 days of prayer campaign for a peaceful referendum
Yei, 14 December 2010 — German Archbishop Erwin Josef Ender paid a visit to Yei, Southern Sudan to show solidarity with the autonomous region in promoting the 101 days of prayer campaign for a peaceful referendum, which will take place on January 9, 2011.
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Ethiopia: Refugee women launch beauty salon
Addis Ababa, 3 December 2010 – Refugee women launched a beauty salon that will help them become self-reliant on the premises of the JRS Refugee Community Center (RCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Kenya: More than 600 students participate in disability awareness days
Kakuma, 1 November 2010 - JRS Mental Health Assistants in Kakuma refugee camp, north-west Kenya, conducted three disability awareness days in March, May and September 2010 for more than 600 students.
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Ethiopia: Refugees from five African countries participate in peace workshop
Addis Ababa, 1 November 2010 – The JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) in Addis Ababa organised a three-day workshop on peace education for urban refugees of five different nationalities, from October 27-29.
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Kenya: New distance-learning programme provides hope
Kakuma, 20 November 2010 — Every day Bol, a 26-year old paraplegic man, pedals his hand-powered tricycle an hour each way from his home through Kakuma refugee camp to attend the first introductory training sessions for the new JRS distance-learning university courses.
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Kenya: Government forces refugees back to Somalia
Nairobi, 10 November 2010 – Human rights organisations have criticised the Kenyan government for forcing Somalis fleeing fighting between a pro-government militia and Islamist Al-Shabab fighters back across the border in violation of international law.
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Kenya: New higher education project started in Kakuma
Rome/Nairobi, 27 September 2010 — JRS has started a new education project in Kakuma refugee camp, north-west Kenya. It is part of JRS’ latest initiative, announced recently in Rome, which wants to bring higher education to refugees, promoting access to education as a fundamental human right.
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Ethiopia: Teenagers receive HIV/AIDS peer education
Addis Ababa, 27 September 2010 — Twenty-seven teenage refugees have received peer education for peer educators as part of the JRS programme to prevent the spread of HIV and in line with JRS’s commitment to strengthen health education and training for displaced persons.
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Kenya: JRS introduces group counselling to address rising needs in Kakuma
Kakuma, 13 September 2010 — For the first time in 16 years, JRS has introduced group counselling alongside individual counselling services to address rising psychosocial needs in Kakuma refugee camp, north-western Kenya.
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Southern Sudan: 72 leaders trained in good governance
Kajo Keji, 14 September 2010 — JRS and the Department of Religious Affairs in Kajo Keji County have trained 72 local leaders and government officials on good governance.
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Southern Sudan: Preparing for a peaceful 2011 referendum
Nimule, 27 August 2009 – In preparation for the referendum on southern independence scheduled for January 2011, JRS recently trained 12 community peace facilitators and three government and church representatives in Nimule, Pageri and Mugali sub-counties, Southern Sudan.
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Southern Sudan: Empowering education officials in Yei
Yei, 27 July 2010 — JRS trained 23 head teachers to help them understand, monitor and improve the quality of education in their schools in Yei River county, Southern Sudan.
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Southern Sudan: Seventy-two teachers attend capacity building workshop
Nimule, 23 August 2010 — Seventy-two teachers will teach more effectively in 25 JRS-supported primary schools after each attending one of the three-day workshops on teaching skills organised by JRS for untrained teachers in Nimule, Mugali and Pageri sub-counties in Magwi county, Eastern Equatoria state, Southern Sudan.
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Uganda: Reaching out to rebuild cultural identity
Kitgum, 14 July 2010 — During the Ugandan conflict between the government and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the once respected elders of the ethnic Acholi people slowly lost their authority and the respect of younger people.
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Southern Sudan: Education sector not ready for emergencies
Juba, 1 July 2010 – The education sector in the autonomous region of Southern Sudan lacks the mechanisms and procedures to respond in emergencies, according to a specialist, John Yuggi, working for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
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Southern Sudan: JRS donates three pairs of oxen and oxen ploughs to local communities
Lobone, 30 July 2010 – Between April and June 2010 JRS has donated a pair of oxen and an ox plough to each of three Catholic communities near Lobone, Southern Sudan to help generate income for their members.
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Southern Sudan: Jesuits give insight on JRS identity and mission in three projects
Yei, 16 July 2010 - In early July, three Jesuits gave a day long workshop-retreat on the Ignatian identity and mission of JRS to staff members in three projects in Southern Sudan.
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Southern Sudan: First phase of in-service training concluded in Kajo Keji
Kajo Keji, 21 May 2010 — 27 primary teachers concluded their three weeks in-service training at the Comboni College in Kajo Keji, Southern Sudan.
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Ethiopia: Refugees laud country’s hospitality on World Refugee Day
Addis Ababa, 24 June 2010 – “Ethiopia has a long history in hosting refugees, dating back as far as 1,300 years ago. Until to date, the governments of the country have continued to be hospitable and humane to all refugees who come in search of peace and security,” said Ahmed Abdella Gedar, Chairperson of the Urban Refugees Community, at a recent event commemorating World Refugee Day in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
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Southern Sudan: JRS defines catechists' training needs in Yei
Yei, 1 June 2010 – Lay catechetical leaders representing all seven parishes within the Diocese of Yei, Southern Sudan, gathered along with their parish priests and diocesan officials from May 31 – June 1, 2010 to share with JRS their desires for further training in areas of the Catholic faith.
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Southern Sudan: JRS directs local priests in spiritual exercises
Yei, 29 May 2010 — The JRS pastoral programme in Yei, southern Sudan, guided the priests and bishop of the Yei Diocese in their annual retreat from May 26-29, 2010 at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Yei.
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Urban refugees can be a benefit, not a burden
Nairobi, 20 June 2010 — On 20 June, World Refugee Day, Jesuit Refugee Service/Eastern Africa urges the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia to tap into the potential of refugees and other forced migrants in urban areas. This not only promotes their self-sufficiency, it also contributes to well-being in their host countries.
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Eastern Africa: They took my home, but they can’t take my future – commemorating World Refugee Day
Nairobi, 20 June 2010 – This coming Sunday, JRS will join the world in marking World Refugee Day. This day was formally established by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2000. Since 2001, exactly 50 years after the implementation of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, World Refugee Day has been commemorated globally every year on June 20.
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Southern Sudan: Considerable achievements since “Go to School” campaign was launched
Juba, 6 May 2010 — Considerable achievements have been made since Southern Sudan first launched the “Go to School” campaign in 2006, an education for all initiative aimed at boosting primary school enrolment, especially among girls.
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Southern Sudan: JRS hands over new primary school to local community
Lobone, 30 April 2010 – On April 30, 2010 JRS handed over a newly constructed primary school to the community of Palwar in Lobone sub-county, Southern Sudan. Around 1,500 people were present at the handing over ceremony.
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Tanzania: Tens of thousands of refugees granted citizenship
Ngara, 22 April 2010 – Tanzania granted citizenship to 162,000 refugees who fled the 1972 civil war in Burundi. The largest ever naturalisation of refugees in the world was described by UN agencies and human rights groups as a historic occasion.
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Uganda: JRS offers new training opportunities for refugees
Kampala, 16 April 2010 - On January 22, 2010, JRS announced that it will soon start providing skills training for refugees and asylum seekers in Kampala. “JRS has made arrangements with several schools in and around Kampala to train selected refugees in catering, computer, driving and hairdressing,” said Stephen Kuteesa, Coordinator of the Urban Emergency Programme (UEP) at the annual meeting with 150 beneficiaries of JRS services in Kampala, Uganda
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Southern Sudan: Campaign to highlight importance of education
Lobone, 26 March 2010 — Between January 18 and February 2, 2010 the JRS team in Lobone, Southern Sudan carried out a campaign in order to create awareness about the importance of education. For twelve days, JRS staff members held meetings with seven communities in Lobone, Parjok and Magwi Sub-counties, aiming to increase school enrollment, boost girls’ education and intensify the collaboration with the local education officials and community leaders.
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Ethiopia: Another step towards implementing new project
Mai-Aini, 26 March 2010 — JRS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ethiopian government and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to officially launch a new project in Mai-Aini refugee camp on February 25, 2010. The camp is located near Shire, northern Ethiopia, close to the border with Eritrea and hosts around 15,000 Eritrean refugees.
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Southern Sudan: Team reflects on JRS mission
Lobone, 11 February 2010 – JRS staff members in Lobone, Southern Sudan, gathered for a day of retreat and reflection, inspired by the JRS document “Sent to the frontiers on a mission of reconciliation.” Issued in 2009, this paper defines the identity and mission of JRS in light of the 35th General Congregation of the Jesuits.
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Kenya: Urban refugees face harassment and violence, says report
Nairobi, 25 March 2010 — Refugees and asylum seekers living in Nairobi are regularly subject to harassment and extortion, especially by the Kenyan police force, and they are exposed to high levels of criminal violence, says a report by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) that highlights the vulnerable position of many refugees living in Nairobi.
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Southern Sudan: JRS hands over new primary school in Lerwa
Lobone, 19 March 2010 — 2010 JRS handed over a newly constructed primary school to the community of Lerwa, Magwi County, Southern Sudan in March. Almost 700 people attended the ceremony.
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Ethiopia: JRS draws attention to the plight of women and girls
Addis Ababa, 10 March 2010 — More than 350 refugees gathered under the theme “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all” at the JRS Refugee Community Centre in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 10, and draw attention to the plight of women.
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Uganda: Refugees celebrate achievements of displaced women
Kampala, 5 March 2010 — JRS celebrated International Women’s Day on March 5 with over 230 refugees and partners in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
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Southern Sudan: Two year process to develop handbooks launched
Juba, 19 February 2010 – A process to develop handbooks for various JRS programmes has recently started with a workshop in Juba, Southern Sudan.
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Southern Sudan: Teachers play important role in building peace
Juba, 18 February 2010 — In post-war Southern Sudan, teachers have a particular responsibility to promote a culture of peace and reconciliation.
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Kenya: JRS helps local community in Kakuma
Kakuma, 12 February 2010 — In an effort to respond to emerging needs in Kakuma, north-west Kenya, JRS will now extend its scholarship programme to the local Turkana community.
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Kenya: How the JRS Mikono shop helps refugees become self-reliant
Nairobi, 12 February 2010 — Refugees and asylum seekers who had to leave all their belongings behind when they fled their countries still have their skills which they can use once they are in exile. Those supported by JRS in Nairobi produce a variety of crafts such as wood carvings, batiks and post cards made of banana fiber, baskets, bags, dolls, table mats, necklaces, nativity scenes as well as clothes.
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Southern Sudan: New policy will reduce numbers of teachers
Kajo Keji, 5 February 2010 — The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) has recently begun implementing a new policy which will filter out primary school teachers who lack valid qualification documents. Consequently, this will create a lack of teachers, as 45 percent of the teachers in Southern Sudan never received any training, and force schools to merge. “For us this means that the number of the current 83 primary schools will be reduced,” says Mr. Wani Benjamin, acting district education officer in Kajo Keji County.
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Tanzania: Award winning refugee child anxious to see his community helped
Mwanza, 5 February 2010 — On December 3, 2009, a 16-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was awarded an International Children’s Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of refugee children in Tanzania.
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Southern Sudan: First ever visit to previously inaccessible schools
Lobone, 1 February 2010 — Four JRS staff members for the first time went on a challenging 15km hike to visit two JRS supported schools that had never been visited before, located in the mountains around Lobone in early February.
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Kenya: Jesuit superior visits Kakuma refugee camp
Kakuma, 17 December 2009 —Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas SJ, visited Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya on 17 December.
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Tanzania: JRS trained refugee child wins international award
Ngara, 3 December 2009 – On December 3, 2009, a 16-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was awarded an International Children’s Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of refugee children in Tanzania.
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Ethiopia: Urban refugees enjoy break from everyday life
Addis Ababa, 27 November 2010 — The JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) recently organised an educational trip to Debre Zeit (Bishoftu), around 50 km southeast of Addis Ababa, for over 90 urban refugees of different nationalities.
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Ethiopia: JRS promotes peace among urban refugees
Addis Ababa, 27 November 2009 – From November 23-26, 2009, the JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) in Addis Ababa held a workshop on conflict resolution for thirty refugees from Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
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Southern Sudan: Registration deadline for elections extended
Juba, 23 November 2009 – On November 23, 2009, the National Elections Commission announced an extension to the deadline for voter registration and postponement of the election date due to delays incurred in the process in some areas of the vast country.
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Southern Sudan: JRS trains local community in managing schools
Nimule, 9 November 2009 – From November 6-7, 2009, JRS organised a two day workshop for 19 members of the parents and teachers association (PTA) and the board of governors (BOG) of the secondary school in Loa, Southern Sudan. It was the second workshop in the area. Both workshops aimed at building the capacity of the local community to successfully manage their schools.
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Uganda: Refugees learn about their rights
Kampala, 7 November 2009 – From November 5-6, 2009, JRS organised a workshop on refugee protection in cooperation with a number of refugee groups and organisations in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The event, facilitated by Mr Godwin Buwa, a lawyer from the partner organisation, the Refugee Law Project, offered 30 refugee leaders, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Eritrea and Ethiopia, the opportunity to learn more about their rights and obligations.
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Southern Sudan: Helping to build an education system
Kajo Keji, 6 November 2010 – On November 6, 2009, public education officers and teachers in JRS schools took a further step towards achieving their overall common goal of ensuring quality education to all children of school-going age in Kajo Keji county, Central Equatoria state, Southern Sudan.
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Kenya: JRS extends services to Somali new-arrivals
Kakuma, 30 October 2009 -- According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the relocation of 12,900 refugees from Dadaab refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya to Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya was recently completed. It had been going on since mid August. The relocation is a first step towards decongesting the world’s largest refugee site at Dadaab, currently hosting over 280,000 refugees, most of them from Somalia. UNHCR said, 6,400 refugees are crossing the Kenya-Somalia border every month.
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Ethiopia: Refugees learn about prevention of communicable diseases
Addis Ababa, 28, October 2009 — Twenty-five refugees from Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) living in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa recently had the opportunity to learn about the prevention of communicable diseases in a two day workshop organised by JRS.
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Kenya: Twelve refugee students graduate at Kakuma
Kakuma, 24 October 2009 — Twelve JRS-sponsored refugee students from Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia and Rwanda obtained their degrees at Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya. Three students who have participated in the distance tertiary education programme with the University of South Africa (UNISA), obtained their Bachelor of Art in communications and sociology after nine years of studies while nine students of the Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development (KISWCD) received their diploma certificates in community health and community development after two years of studies.
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Southern Sudan: Reconstructed primary school handed over to local community
Nimule, 16 October 2009 — JRS handed over a reconstructed primary school to the local community of Iriya, near Nimule, Southern Sudan. The school comprises two classroom blocks, an administration block and four latrine blocks. Construction, which had started in early February and was accomplished in August this year, was mainly funded by the Spanish government.
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Southern Sudan: Reconstructed primary school handed over to local community
On 16 October 2009, JRS handed over a reconstructed primary school to the local community of Iriya, near Nimule, Southern Sudan. The school comprises two classroom blocks, an administration block and four latrine blocks. Construction, which had started in early February and was accomplished in August this year, was mainly funded by the Spanish government.
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Southern Sudan: Elections - what needs to be done?
Juba, 16 October 2009 — The forthcoming elections in Sudan are considered a major milestone in the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the democratic transformation process in Sudan. They were scheduled to take place in November this year, then later postponed to February 2010 and lastly to April 2010 due to delays in the preparation. Whereas many discussions, plans and projects, like political gatherings and conferences, are geared towards the elections and the time after, there are many challenges that are surrounding and threatening the process now and that have to be dealt with in order to ensure a peaceful future for Southern Sudan.
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Kenya: Nineteen refugees receive small loans
Nairobi, 25 September, 2009 — September 25, 2009, JRS officially granted 19 urban refugees from six countries with interest-free loans to start small businesses.
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Kenya: Basic counselling training helps deal with trauma
Nairobi, 14 September 2009 — JRS Kenya organised a five day training in basic counselling skills in Nairobi September from 14 - 18, 2009. Fourteen refugees from Ethiopia, Somali, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) participated.
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Southern Sudan: JRS trains 60 peace facilitators in preparation of 2010 elections
Southern Sudan, 11 September 2009 — JRS in collaboration with the Interchurch Peace Council (IKV) Pax Christi and the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS) recently organised trainings in preparation of the national elections scheduled for April 2010.
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Southern Sudan: JRS Lobone trains 58 teachers
Lobone, 11 September 2009 — JRS Lobone recently conducted eight in-service training workshops for 58 teachers teaching at primary, secondary, nursery and adult literacy education level in two different counties. Participants were trained by external facilitators from Uganda. Due to poor education opportunities for women and persisting cultural barriers, only nine participants were female teachers.
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Southern Sudan: Leaders urge community members to join literacy classes
Nimule, 8 September 2009 — On September 8, 2009, JRS celebrated World Literacy Day with over 350 men and women in Pageri Payam, about 24 miles from Nimule, Southern Sudan.
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Sudan: JRS International director visits Darfur
Mellit, 19 August 2009 — JRS Sudan hosted a visit from JRS International Director Fr. Peter Balleis SJ, and Regional Director Fr. Frido Pflueger SJ from August 19-26, 2009. It was Fr. Balleis’ first visit since he took up his position in Rome.
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Ethiopia: International director addresses JRS team
Addis Ababa, 19 August 2009 — In the afternoon of August 19, 2009, JRS Ethiopia staff was addressed by JRS International Director Fr. Peter Balleis SJ during a mass which was organised on the occasion of Fr. Balleis’s first visit to Addis Ababa. The mass was framed by prayers, readings and songs performed by the JRS Ethiopia staff choir.
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Southern Sudan: New classroom block in Kajo Keji inaugurated
Kajo Keji, 14 August 2009 — JRS inaugurated a four classroom block at Jalimo Parents secondary school in Kajo Keji, Southern Sudan on August 14th.
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Ethiopia: Young refugees found youth association on international youth day
Addis Ababa, 10 October 2009 — With the help of JRS, young refugees recently established the Refugee Youth Association in Addis Ababa. The foundation took place on 5 August but was officially announced five days later, on the occasion of International Youth Day which was celebrated with urban refugees, JRS staff and invited guests on the premises of the JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) in the Ethiopian capital.
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Southern Sudan: JRS opens first permanent primary school in Lobone
Lobone, 5 August 2009 — JRS inaugurated the first primary school with permanent buildings in Lobone, Southern Sudan on 5 August.
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Southern Sudan: JRS Yei helps Congolese refugees displaced by LRA
Yei, 29 July 2009 — JRS Yei has recently undertaken a number of activities to help Congolese refugees displaced by the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and currently sheltering in the Nyori refugee settlement in Lasu Payam (County), Southern Sudan, some 25 miles from Yei.
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Ethiopia: JRS trains peer educators on HIV/AIDS
Addis Ababa, 27 July 2009 — The JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) conducted a workshop on HIV/AIDS for 23 peer educators between 14 and 21 years from different nationalities.
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Ethiopia: Fourteen refugees graduate from Addis Ababa University
Addis Ababa, 25 July 2009 — Fourteen refugee students graduated from Addis Ababa University after having completed their three years studies in different fields. One of the twelve Sudanese students left the university with a medical doctorate in Health Science after seven years of studying; two students come from Eritrea.
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Ethiopia: Workshop changes attitudes
Addis Ababa, 20 July 2009 — Refugees in Addis Ababa changed their attitude after participating in a five-day workshop on HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation organised by the JRS Emergency Needs Programme (ENP).
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Kenya: Archbishop calls on Kenyans and refugees to live in harmony
Nairobi, 28 June 2009 — JRS in collaboration with Nairobi Archdiocese Refugee Assistance Programme, Faraja Trust of Kenya and Africa Refugee Programme Great Lakes commemorated World Refugee Day with a Eucharistic celebration. It took place at Divine Word Parish, Kayole which is one of the parishes in Nairobi where JRS provides assistance for new arrivals and asylum seekers. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Archbishop Boniface Lele who is the Vice Chairman for Refugees, Migrants and Seafarers in the Kenya Episcopal Conference.
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Ethiopia: JRS celebrates World Refugee Day with urban refugees
Addis Ababa, 25 June 2009 — JRS Ethiopia marked World Refugee Day 2009 with urban refugees, invited guests representing the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the government body, Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the Jesuits and other partner organisations. The event was organised by JRS Ethiopia in collaboration with the Development Inter-Church Aid Commission Refugee and Returnee Affairs Department (DICAC/RRAD).
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Kenya: JRS Kakuma celebrates World Refugee Day in safe haven protection centre
Kakuma, 20 June 2009 — JRS-Kakuma celebrated World Refugee Day in the Safe Haven protection centre with women and their children who carry the double burden of being displaced and threatened by sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
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Kenya: Refugees to be welcomed, not rejected
Kenya, 20 June 2009 — Despite the improved perception of refugees in some regions, refugees in many parts of the world still face hostility and neglect. They are often denied their fundamental human rights and experience rejection and discrimination.
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Southern Sudan: Skills training empowers adults
Nimule, 12 June 2009 — This April, a tailoring student who had taken part in JRS skills training was hired by St. Patrick’s primary school in Nimule to sew school unifIn April this year a tailoring student who took part in the JRS skills training was hired by St. Patrick’s primary school in Nimule to sew school uniforms.
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Uganda: JRS trains 39 cultural leaders in Kitgum
Kitgum, 5 June 2009 — The peace building and conflict transformation programme of JRS Kitgum recently completed the training of 39 mostly male cultural leaders in Kitgum District. The leaders, Kal-Kwato, were trained in mediation and reconciliation during April and May.
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Uganda: JRS trains refugees on Ugandan Refugee Act
Kampala, 29 May 2009 — The JRS Urban Programme held a seminar on the Ugandan Refugee Act for asylum seekers and refugees at JRS Kampala offices this May. The purpose was to help beneficiaries gain a better understanding of the Refugee Act and to promote awareness of their rights and responsibilities. Fifteen asylum seekers and eight refugees from Somalia, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya and Ethiopia participated in the seminar. They then disseminated the information within their respective groups.
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Kenya: Seventy-four counsellors graduate at Kakuma
Kakuma, 29 May 2009 — 74 mostly-Somali counsellors concluded their training with a graduation ceremony at Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya. The graduates have been trained by JRS in basic counselling skills for the last two months. Trainees, family members, friends and the JRS community were present to celebrate the graduates who will strengthen the team of community counsellors which respond to the psychosocial needs of refugees in the camp.
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Kenya: The forgotten host community
Kakuma, 29 May 2009 — Conflict between the local Turkana population in Kakuma and the humanitarian presence serving a refugee camp of 18,000 displaced persons from the region, has recently been resolved through dialogue. The host community and the heads of agencies agreed to work together in order to find out about the real needs of the local Turkana population and to address these needs where possible.
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Uganda: Influx of Congolese refugees assisted in Kampala
Kampala, 29 May 2009 — An increased number of new arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been assisted by the JRS Urban Programme in Kampala during the past few weeks. Some of these asylum seekers are not new arrivals as they entered Uganda at the end of 2008 due to ethnic clashes and the joint Rwandan offensive against the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR). Now, as their coping strategies begin to fail they start registering at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and at JRS which grants support to vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees for three months after arriving in Uganda. But the majority entered the country between February and April, and are now searching for three months of food, rent and medical assistance from JRS. Among others, refugees give tribal conflicts as well as the activity of different rebel groups and government soldiers as reasons for their flight from DRC.
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Southern Sudan: Demolition of shelters leads to humanitarian crisis in Juba
Juba, 28 May 2009 — In early January 2009, the Governor of the Central Equatoria State, Mr Clement Wani, ordered the demolition of structures which "illegally" occupied land within Juba and its suburbs. This was part of the demarcation and mapping process of Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, which started in 2008 per directive by President Salva Kiir as an attempt to modernise the city. The target of the demolition are internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps, slums and un-demarcated areas which include permanent or semi-permanent structures that have been erected without a permit.
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Ethiopia: Sixty refugee women attend HIV/AIDS awareness raising workshop
Addis Ababa, 27 May 2009 — JRS Ethiopia together with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Development Inter-Church Aid Commission/Refugee and Returnee Affairs Department (DICAC/RRAD) held a full day workshop on HIV/AIDS for 60 refugee women.
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Southern Sudan: JRS Kajo Keji concludes three weeks teacher training
Kajo Keji, 22 May 2009 — JRS concluded three weeks of successful in-service training for forty primary school teachers in Kajo Keji, Southern Sudan on 22 May. JRS Teacher Trainer Wani Emmanuel Denson had planned and coordinated the training which targeted untrained teachers in Kajo Keji county. Currently there are 113 untrained teachers registered in the county. Only quarter of the participants were female.
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Uganda: JRS intensifies services for asylum seekers in Kampala
Addis Ababa, 5 May 2009 — As part of its outreach programme, the JRS Urban Emergency Programme in Kampala provides assistance to three parishes one of which runs a place called “Agape – Pendo la Mungu”. Agape offers shelter and protection for the maximum period of three months for 20 asylum seekers who have no other support network which offers them accommodation and food.
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Ethiopia: Discovering self-esteem as a tool for personal development
Addis Ababa, 27 April 2009 — At the end of April the JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) organised a three-day workshop on self-esteem for 22 language and computer students and 4 teachers. The workshop aimed at renewing hope and showing new directions for the lives of refugees by drawing attention to the principles of self-esteem like sense of competence, the importance of taking control of one’s life, tolerance, self-acceptance, positive thinking and self-motivation.
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Kenya: Scaling up services for incoming Somalis in Kakuma
Kakuma, 24 April 2009 — The question whether Kakuma Refugee Camp is closing down has been on the minds of many people who visited the camp recently. Despite the growing number of Somalis, Darfurians, and Congolese refugees at the camp services for the refugees have been scaled down continuously. The successful repatriation of most of the Southern Sudanese refugees made donors and organisations assume that 17 years after it had been created in 1992, Kakuma refugee camp is on the verge of closing down.
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Southern Sudan: JRS helps to stage first joint secondary school exams in Yei
Yei, 24 April 2009 — JRS Yei and the Yei County Education Office extended their collaboration to establish an examination board for the county’s secondary schools, and stage the first county-wide joint secondary school exams after working closely together to ensure the success of the first county-wide joint primary school exams, involving over 90 schools.
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Kenya: Empowering refugees in an urban setting
Kakuma, 17 April 2009 — Thirteen refugees who had been granted small loans which help them set up their own business took part in a one day participatory training this April. Since all of them had been involved in running a business previously, the training was meant to encourage them to share their knowledge not only about their products and skills but also about their experience in running a business.
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Southern Sudan: Deteriorating security situation disrupts JRS activities
Yei, 8 April 2009 — According to a recent UNHCR media release, a deteriorating security situation in some parts of Southern Sudan, including nearly a week of protests by unpaid war veterans, has forced UNHCR to temporarily halt its repatriation programme from Uganda.
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Ethiopia: New refugee cafeteria attracts customers
Addis Ababa, 27 March 2009 — Last month, the JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) opened a cafeteria for refugees. The cafeteria grants refugees a possibility to meet for refreshments at an affordable price in the city centre of Addis Ababa. It is a different approach to help refugees recover from trauma and painful experiences. Mr. Bala Zeyne Al Abdin, 44 years old and himself a refugee from Sudan runs the cafeteria. He has five years experience of running a small restaurant at Sherkole refugee camp in western Ethiopia.
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Ethiopia: RCC library opens its door for local students
Addis Ababa, 27 March 2009 — The JRS Refugee Community Centre (RCC) library recently opened its doors for 48 students from the local community, the majority female, who live in the centre’s surroundings. In collaboration with the Kebele District Administration JRS selects children from destitute families to be granted access to the library.
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Kenya: JRS scholarships make a difference in Nairobi
Nairobi, 27 March 2009 — After a needs assessment was carried out in 2008, the JRS Scholarship Programme has diverted its attention from college to secondary school and pre-primary assistance. It became clear that the funds available could accommodate a higher number of students if the focus was shifted to secondary education. Interviews were held in February and intake of 18 students took place in March. At the moment JRS also sponsors two deaf students from Sudan.
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Southern Sudan: Address real needs of striking war veterans
Nimule, 18 March 2009 — Armed war veterans of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) went on strike in the streets of Nimule, Southern Sudan, stopping all activities. According to IRIN they have not been receiving their benefits for the last five months.
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Uganda: The Acholi way of coping with the effects of war
Gulu, 13 March 2009 — As reported by IRIN on March 13, internally displaced persons (IDPs) near Gulu, which have returned to their villages in northern Uganda’s Acholi sub-region after two decades of camp life have found human skeletons on their land. Since members of the Acholi culture believe that keeping these skeletons on their land will bring them misfortune, the discovery created fear among the returnees. The IDPs therefore demanded the burial of the skeletons and the cleansing of the land by the Rwodi Moo, their cultural leaders mandated to conduct the required rituals. In Gulu and Amuru Districts 13 skeletons have been buried and cleansing ceremonies performed in 17 villages to ensure a smooth resettlement of the IDPs.
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Uganda: In groups we can - International Women's Day in Kampala
Kampala, 13 March 2009 — Last Friday the JRS Urban Programme in Kampala celebrated the International Women’s Day. The event was brought forward because the day (8 March) was due to fall on a Sunday when the JRS office is normally closed.
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Kenya: Influx of Congolese refugees puts pressure on JRS emergency programme
Nairobi, 13 March 2009 — For the JRS Urban Emergency Programme (UEP) in Nairobi, the month of February was not business as usual. There was a remarkable increase of new arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in particular from South Kivu. Most of them are young men and women aged between 18 and 30 years. Those over 30 years are very few. Noticeable is the absence of elderly people as many are claiming that their parents died back in Congo. Recent outbreaks of conflict, the looting of their property and the fear to be forced to fight have pushed them to leave their country.
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Ethiopia: JRS marks International Women's Day
Addis Ababa, 11 March 2009 — JRS Ethiopia planned a half-day event this March for refugee women in Addis Ababa to mark International Women’s Day (IWD). The event was organised by urban refugees coordinated under the Urban Refugee Committee and the Refugee Women’s Association.
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Ethiopia: JRS holds panel discussion in preparation of International Women's Day
Addis Ababa, 3 March 2009 — As a prelude to this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), a half-day panel discussion was held on March 3, 2009. The twenty-six participants were members of the Association of Refugee Women established through joint efforts of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), JRS and the Development and Inter-church Aid Commission (DICAC) in 2009 in Addis Ababa. The purpose of the panel was to discuss issues related to the IWD theme for the year “Sharing the caring for the future.”
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Kenya: Thousands of refugees to be transferred from Dadaab to Kakuma
Kakuma, 20 February 2009 — The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is now planning to move thousands of refugees from Dadaab to Kakuma camp, 1200 km away in north-western Kenya where the population has reduced to 51,000 after the majority of Sudanese refugees has returned.
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Uganda: Enthusiastic opening for JRS English classes
Kampala, 20 February 2009 — The JRS language classes motto, “Language for integration, language for life!” seems to have been vindicated as the year 2009 started with great enthusiasm. For the first time in five years, total effective enrollment hit the record figure of 100 students by the end of January alone.
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Ethiopia: Ten refugees complete vocational training
Addis Ababa, 9 February 2009 — JRS Ethiopia organised an event on 9 February for the graduation of ten refugees who for the first time attended and successfully completed six months vocational skills training courses in videography/photography and mobile and computer maintenance.
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Southern Sudan: Enhancing community participation in education
Kajo Keji, 6 February 2009 — Secondary schools in Kajo Keji provide a good example of how attitudes can be changed towards community participation. In December 2008, in order to provide suitable learning environment for their children, parents in four secondary schools started contributing money to purchase bricks for construction of permanent classroom structures.
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Kenya: JRS opens new outreach centre in Nairobi
Nairobi, 4 February 2009 — The JRS Urban Emergency Programme (UEP) opened a new outreach centre for food distribution to urban refugees at Divine Word Parish in Nairobi.
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Southern Sudan: JRS Kajo Keji concludes in-service teacher training
Kajo Keji, 30 January 2009 — JRS Kajo Keji concluded the third phase of nine weeks in-service teacher training on methodology of specific subjects and class management targeting untrained primary teachers.
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Uganda: IDPs fear worsening of situation in the North
Kitgum, 19 January 2009 — Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda fear a worsening of the situation after the joint military offensive by Uganda, Congo and South Sudan on the Lord’s Resistance Army’s base in north-eastern Congo (LRA) on December 14, 2008.
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Southern Sudan: JRS promotes women's rights in Kajo Keji
Kajo Keji, 16 January 2009 — The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in December 2008 was a historic moment to recognise the past decades of work to secure the conventions and treaties that make up the human rights framework. The principles of the declaration also gave legitimacy to activists around the world who were calling for the realisation of universal human rights. Human rights cannot be universal without women’s rights and like every year since its introduction in 1991 the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” campaign offered an opportunity to advocate for women rights, to end gender inequality and to create a world free from violence, discrimination and injustice.
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Southern Sudan: Pastoral work in Yei affected by fear of LRA attacks
Yei, January 9, 2009 — The fourth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was celebrated in Southern Sudan. In the same week hundreds of people panicked when a fire started and bullets exploded in a house outside Yei, on the road to Juba.
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Southern Sudan: Huge challenges remain after four years of peace
Juba, 9 January 2009 — Southern Sudan marked the fourth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended 22 years of civil war between the north and the south this January. Although peace and stability could be maintained, security improved and a new government of South Sudan is financed from Sudan’s oil wealth, huge challenges remain in the implementation of the CPA while only two more years of the six-years interim period are left to form a government of national unity.
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Ethiopia: Controversial law on charities and societies passed
Addis Ababa, 6 January 2010 — Despite strong criticism from different sides, the Ethiopian parliament on January 6, 2009 endorsed a new law regulating the registration and operation of NGOs and other associations, commonly known as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating in the country.
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Uganda: Adjumani project closed down after 16 years
Adjumani, 14 December 2008 — In 1992, just after the Eastern African region had been founded, JRS started working with southern Sudanese refugees setting up its first project in Adjumani, northern Uganda in 1993. This project became the “mother” of many others in the region that followed soon. After 16 years of serving Sudanese refugees and the local community in the area of Adjumani and Moyo, JRS East Africa officially closed down the project on December 14, 2008.
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Ethiopia: Refugee influx from Somalia feared to grow
Addis Ababa, 12 December 2009 — For almost two decades, since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has been in political turmoil and was hit by frequent drought as well as rampant inflation. According to the UN, Somalia is the worst humanitarian crisis and one of the most neglected in the world.
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Uganda: Children forced to quit school as food aid is cut
Kitgum, 5 December 2008 — Over the past three months, thousands of children have dropped out of primary school in northern Uganda due to lack of food and poor learning conditions. As reported by IRIN, statistics from the district education office showed a 6.1 percent rise in drop-out rates, many of them girls below the age of 15.
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Kenya: Thoughts on the international day for persons with disabilities
Kenya, 3 December 2008 — The world marks the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is a day which aims to promote an international understanding of disability issues, to encourage support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities and to encourage their integration into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
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Sudan: JRS trains 120 teachers in Darfur
Mellit, 1 December 2008 — JRS concluded an in-service training for 120 adult literacy teachers of which 17 percent were women in Mellit, North Darfur.
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Tanzania: Seventeen days campaign against gender violence launched
Kibono, 25 November, 2008 — The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has launched the “16 Days of Activism To End Violence Against Women” campaign with a particular focus on gender-based violence in Kibondo District, northwestern Tanzania. “We want zero sexual and gender based violence, zero discrimination and no tolerance for brutality. To achieve this, men have to support and help women,” Nadjia Hafsa, representative of the UNHCR office in charge said during the opening of the campaign in Nduta refugee camp.
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Tanzania: Repatriation and closure of refugee camps in the North-West ongoing
Mwanza, 21 November 2008 — In 2002 the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Tanzanian government considered the security situation in Burundi stable and assisted about 353,000 Burundians to return to their home country. Respectively, the repatriation process for Congolese refugees was launched in 2005 and 60,000 Congolese camp refugees have since been repatriated.
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Kenya: Education increasingly regarded as life-saving
Nairobi, 13 November 2008 — Humanitarian policy makers have endorsed internationally-agreed standards on rebuilding education in emergency situations following a “Companionship Agreement” between The Sphere Project and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in October this year. By this agreement, The Sphere Project, acknowledges the quality of education standards developed by INEE and demonstrates the consensus in the humanitarian community “that education must be considered as a sector within immediate emergency response” said Alyson Joyner, project manager of Sphere in an interview with IRIN on November 13.
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Kenya: Government accused of violating guiding principles on internal displacement
Kenya, 10 November 2008 — Human rights activists have accused Kenyan officials of having violated the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement during the operation “Rudi Nyumbani” which aimed at resettling people displaced by post-election violence early this year, according to a recent IRIN report.
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Ethiopia: Refugee music band contributes to African Peace Tour
Addis Ababa, 31 October 2008 — In November 2004 young refugees from DRC, Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi had the idea to establish a music band in Ethiopia which they named BOMPIA. According to Congolese band leader Guilain Soda, the five founding band members that took the initiative came from Sherkole camp to Addis Ababa, with the assistance of the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA). Once they arrived, others who had the talent and the potential joined the group and the number has subsequently grown to fourteen. Now they have five vocalists, one drummer, three guitarists, three dancers, one plays the keyboard and one the tom-tom. However, the band first came into the limelight when Ethiopia celebrated its Millennium in September 2007.
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Uganda: Influx of Congolese refugees
Kampala, 31 October 2008 — Since mid September 2008, massive numbers of Congolese asylum seekers have been reported to have entered Uganda, their number estimated at 7000 by October 20, 2008, according to IRIN.
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Uganda: Taking responsibility for changes
Kampala, 30 October 2008 — JRS psychosocial programme organised a campaign on domestic violence and alcohol abuse, two major social problems, in Aparo Hill-Top and Oryang IDP camps on October 30 and 31. The campaign aimed at fostering collaboration, strengthening community initiative and forming the right attitude among internally displaced persons (IDP) in the camps.
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Ethiopia: JRS holds youth work shop
Addis Ababa, 14 October 2008 — From October 14-16, 2008 the Emergency Needs Programme (ENP) in Addis Ababa conducted a three-day workshop on “Avoiding Risk, Affirming Life” Youth Action Kit, focusing on teenage groups aged between 15-24. The workshop was part of a series of human development lessons and employed a participatory brainstorming approach.
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