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Addressing the underlying causes of forced migratory flows in home countries, providing support at transit sites and providing services in other destination countries are a significant part of our response.

We don’t forget the people who weren’t able to escape the conflict or those who are searching for a safe, secure and dignified life. It is crucial to provide support to the most vulnerable people also beyond our borders, so our expertise in international cooperation working with the Jesuit Refugee Service is also a essential component of our response.

Through our international cooperation organizations – Entreculturas and Alboan – we support, serve and uphold the rights of refugees and displaced people in the Middle East, East and West Africa, African Great Lakes region, Southern Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. We work to provide quality education to refugee children, as well as vocational training for adults and other psychosocial services to support forced migrants.

Now we would like to highlight the efforts undertaken by our international cooperation department in order to respond to the current migration crisis:

Educational support for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

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Hosting more than one million refugees, Lebanon must face the challenge of ensuring the right to education of more than half a million school-age boys and girls. To meet this major challenge, we provide support to the education projects implemented by the JRS in several locations in Lebanon: Bourj Hammoud, Jibeil y Kfar Zabad.

This project allows us to maintain our support to Syrian refugees, ensuring that 1,440 boys and girls can realize their right to education in five schools located in Bekaa, one of the areas with the largest concentration of refugees. Our contribution is focused on supporting the organization and development of the lessons, as well as providing school kits, a good breakfast to ensure good performance at school, psychosocial support through social workers and hygienic kits for all students.

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Emergency assistance to refugees in Europe

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In 2015, 862,000 have crossed the Mediterranean Sea seeking shelter and protection in Europe. They are fleeing some of the world’s major conflicts: Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan. JRS Europe, that was already supporting many of these refugees in Europe, has launched an emergency response in order to meet the refugees’ growing needs; JRS Europe has carried out its work in 13 European countries, helping refugees in arrival, transit and destination countries.

Our cooperation work will be focused on supporting the JRS interventions in Hungary, mainly through an education project aimed at assisting 50 unaccompanied minors, as well as by supporting the integration of refugees and providing them with legal support. We will also provide support to JRS regional architecture, ensuring a better quality work in European projects.

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Improving access to inclusive and quality education for local and displaced population in Goma y Masisi, in Eastern RD Congo

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War in Eastern Congo has lasted for more than 20 years now; as a result, a large number of people have been forced to flee, becoming refugees in neighbouring countries; others have started the long journey to Europe; but many others are left with no choice but becoming internally displaced, moving within the country in search of safer places to stay. Masisi is one of the areas with the highest number of internally displaced people in Eastern Congo; a place where boys, girls and women are disproportionately affected by the conflict.

Entreculturas and Alboan have long been advocating for improved educational conditions for displaced people, as well as trying to uphold their right to education. To this end, we carry out several activities, including: helping children to ensure they go to school; accreditation for secondary education; creation of school committees; teacher training; distribution of teaching materials and school equipment; and supporting extracurricular activities designed to develop children’s psycho-social abilities. To support education is a way to promote peace in the country.

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Providing education for refugees in Maban

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South Sudan is still suffering from a long conflict that has resulted in more than 750,000 refugees and 2 million internally displaced people. Although the humanitarian needs are huge, the scarcity of the assistance provided reveals that the priorities of the developed world are elsewhere.

The JRS has been working in the country for more than ten years. Currently, one of its most important initiatives is located in Maban, near the Sudanese border. JRS work in Maban is focused on improving the wellbeing of vulnerable people, as well as on providing education and psychosocial support to more than 15,000 refugees, IDPs and families sheltered in host communities.

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Helping forced migrants at the Melilla – Nador border

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The Social Apostolate of the Society of Jesus works with the Tangier Diocese in Nador to support and assist the migrant population reaching the European border from several African countries. Many of these migrants have been forced to flee from countries such as Nigeria, Congo and Mali, as well as from other conflicts in Africa.

Work is diverse, ranging from supporting basic health needs to longer-term assistance in cases of extreme vulnerability, as well as responding to different emergencies through the distribution of food, blankets and clothing. A close accompaniment of migrants and refugees is key to this kind of work.

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