News and Stories
His family was in despair. “It felt like a big mistake to come here. If we stayed, we would have died once. But here it felt like we had to die again and again.”
This forum featured three resource persons who discussed new possibilities for student outreach and service programs. Each person discussed a pressing issue and a wicked problem – refugees, environment, and Philippine public education – and the possibilities of engaging and educating our students on them.
A group of urban refugees and asylum seekers, including refugee youth who are students in the JRS Urban Education Project, joined the call through social media platforms to discuss about their living conditions, healthcare service, education, psychological well-being, among many concerns. The refugees shared the challenges they have faced during the lockdown and their hopes for the future.
I tried to teach the students the best I can since I wanted to give them the best I have. With all the challenges (remoteness, unavailable telecommunication, lacking support from the community, low incentive, etc.), my worry is whether children in remote villages will continue to have regularly volunteer teachers.
In his 2020 Message, Pope Francis invites all people of faith and goodwill to get to know migrants and refugees and, this year in particular, those who have been forced to flee but have been unable to cross an international border, the internally displaced persons (IDPs). Pope Francis encourages all of us to “know in order to understand”.
Bangkok, 25 November 2019 – Kyi Thar, a caseworker with the Urban Refugee Project in Bangkok, shares his reflection on his work accompanying and serving asylum seekers and refugees in the capital of Thailand. Kyi Thar comes from Myanmar and has been working for 6 years with JRS in Thailand.
Bangkok, 15 November 2019 – On this sunny day, the students of the Jesuit Refugee Service’s Urban Education Project (UEP) in Bangkok sit in the school’s courtyard. They are focused on their hands. Upon closer inspection, it’s apparent that they are handling very small items. Since the beginning of the year, they have been studying with P’Chan, a craft teacher who specializes in miniatures made of clay.
Banmaw, 5 November 2019 – Ja Aung, a young woman from Myanmar, serves as a volunteer teacher in a school in Kachin State, Myanmar that is located in a non-governmental controlled area (NGCA). She is herself an Internally Displaced Person (IDP), meaning that she had to leave her hometown because of conflict and find a place of refuge in another city.
Loikaw, 4 July 2019 – The ‘returnees’ is the name given to the refugees who lived in the camps on the Thai-Myanmar border and who are now returning to Myanmar, after 30 years away from their home country. On 2 July 2019, 32 refugees from 9 families voluntarily returned from Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camp situated in Mae Hong Son, Thailand to Kayah State, Myanmar through the facilitation of UNHCR, and the Myanmar and Thailand governments. It is the third official return of Karenni refugees to Kayah State.