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Lebanon: space to learn
Beirut, 4 July 2014 – How can a country educate every child when its population has expanded by 25% in less than four years? Lebanon, a country of four million in 2010 is now hosting more than a million Syrian refugees, roughly half are school-aged. A country that is roughly the size of Delaware, or quarter the size of Switzerland – is at its widest point, only 70 km across.
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Video: France, Jesuit Refugee Service Welcome Project, the host family experience
Paris, 1 July 2014 –  Each night, thousands of people sleep on the streets of Paris. Some are asylum seekers and refugees. Jesuit Refugee Service France has set up a network of families and religious communities to host them until they can find stable housing.
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Jordan: space to be together
Irbid, 27 June 2014 – In an unassuming building on a quiet street in Irbid, you'll find Syrian mothers dressed alike in heavy black coats and hijabs chatting around a conference table over bread and coffee while their children attend kindergarten in the room next door. It's crammed, but they are used to it now, many living in crowded apartments since they arrived in Jordan.
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World Refugee Day statement: finding safe spaces together
Rome, 20 June 2014 – Today on World Refugee Day, the Jesuit Refugee Service commemorates the courage and endurance of the millions of people forced to flee their homes, and the many who welcome them into their communities. In the last 12 months, the numbers of people displaced due to conflict – more than two-thirds from Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic – and human rights abuses have reached 50 million. Mass displacement is at a 20 year high, on a scale not seen since the wars in former Yugoslavia.
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Video: Lebanon, space to learn
Beirut, 23 June 2014 – How can a country educate every child when its population has expanded by 25% in less than four years? To address the needs of Syrian refugee students, some Lebanese schools have two shifts to double their capacity. Others have to turn people away. In communities around the country, from the Bekaa Valley to the Mediterranean coast, the Jesuit Refugee Service is creating schools for Syrian children in areas where educational opportunities weren't previously available.
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Syria: daily heroism witnessed by Caritas Switzerland
Rome, 19 June 2014 – Yesterday marked the 2014 Prix Caritas ceremony in Lucerne, Switzerland. Nawras Sammour SJ, the Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East North Africa Director, received the award on behalf of JRS Syria.
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Jordan: we are all messengers of peace, says Pope Francis
Amman, 16 June 2014 – Amid a crowd of twenty thousand, Pope Francis was welcomed to Amman, Jordan with cheering and festivities. Although his visit to the Holy Land was brief, his presence in the region was a morale boost to many in such times of turmoil and anxiety.
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International: Pax Christi International Peace Award 2014 given to JRS Syria
Rome,7 June 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has been awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Award for 2014. The award is given to JRS for "the outstanding dedication in providing humanitarian relief to Syrians since 2011".
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Jordan: finding safety for her children
Irbid, 5 June 2014 – "I was in Zaatari for a year, but we're originally from Homs. I left because my kids were getting sick there. It's a dirty place that was getting dirtier and the drinking water wasn't clean. I left Syria to keep my children safe", said Maram.
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Praying with Refugees in the Middle East: the resilience of mothers
Damascus, 16 May 2014 – For years mothers in Syria have suffered; many have been displaced, losing their homes, their husbands, and for some, their children. Mothers often have to decide whether to leave other children behind in order to take a wounded child to gain access medical assistance, or to safety across a border.
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Recent stories
Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness
Chicago, 15 April 2014 – Loyola University Chicago and ART WORKS Projects for Human Rights hosted the symposium, 'Sanctuary and Sustenance: Syria and the Plight of Refugees' on Monday, 7 April. Scholars, faculty, practitioners and refugees examined the current political crisis in Syria from a range of perspectives and disciplines. During the day-long symposium Angela Wells spoke on behalf of the Jesuit Refugee Service about humanitarian assistance and religious intervention.
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Syria: Jesuit Refugee Service mourns the death of Frans van der Lugt SJ
Beirut, 8 April 2014 - The Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has announced its closure for three days over the tragic loss of Fr Frans van der Lugt. The whole JRS family is deeply saddened and shocked by his sudden death on Monday morning.
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Praying with Refugees: accompanying people in detention
Washington DC, 1 April 2014 – In the United States and many other countries, Jesuit Refugee Service actively works to assist refugees and asylum seekers in detention. The use of detention to discourage, control and punish asylum seekers has increased worldwide during the past decade. Each year in the US, some 15,000 people seeking asylum are held in detention.
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USA: the Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria
Washington DC, 7 March 2014 – The 15 March marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis. The Jesuit Refugee Service USA is joining #WithSyria, and with millions of people and other organisations across the globe, to shed light on the desperate situation and urge immediate and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent children and families now under siege. The world can no longer remain indifferent to their plight.
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Syria: in conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians alike
Damascus, 28 February 2014 – Radicalised violence, displacement and poverty affect Syrians of all creeds. In what has always been a complex society, with many layers of social, religious and economic diversity, perpetrators of violence have been able to manipulate this heterogeneity to sow divisions among the population.
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Praying with Refugees in Southern Africa: redefining our mission in life
Johannesburg, 1 March 2014 – One morning I received a visitor to our office, a young woman refugee whom I shall call Ayan*.
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Syria: people of Homs hungry to lead a normal life, says Dutch Jesuit
Rome, 10 February 2014 – Three thousand Syrians trapped in the old city of Homs under a two-year siege and food blockade may finally receive relief after agreements were made on Thursday in the Geneva II talks between government and opposition forces. After two weeks, the negotiations seem to have borne some fruit: an agreement allowing for a "humanitarian pause" in Homs.
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Praying with refugees in South Sudan: a call for peace
Tombura-Yambio, 1 February 2014 — The people of South Sudan have experienced far more than their share of suffering. Historians tell us that more than 4.5 million people died in our wars of independence, with similar numbers unaccounted for in past decades. Our nation needs to embrace the past to avoid repeating the mistakes that caused death, suffering and humiliation on a massive scale. I, therefore, appeal strongly for peace in South Sudan, an appeal which comes from deep within me.
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Syria: we can still give people our time
Damascus, 23 January 2014 - I have been working with JRS in Damascus for about nine months now, as the home visits coordinator. We have seven teams that visit families every day. They assess the needs of each family, and we are able to discern which families are in most need of help, or if they need specific assistance – medical and so on.
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Syria: Iraqi refugees on the sidelines of yet another conflict
Damascus, 12 December 2013 – After being forced to flee Iraq, Tarik* thought he had found safety for himself and his family in Syria. Two short years later conflict broke out.
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