Tag Archives: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)

Alumni Update: Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43)

Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43) of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) mission in Maban, South Sudan, has recently launched a new initiative: a monthly newsletter. The newsletter aims to update team members, supporters, donors, and friends on their current activities ranging from leadership workshops for youth, to vocational skills training programs for women.

 

 

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Alumni Update: Pau Vidal S.J. (IDHA 43) and Alvar Sanchez S.J. (HNTC 8)

vidalOn March 30th, Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43), JRS Maban Project Director, and Alvar Sanchez, S.J. (HNTC 8), JRS Maban Education Coordinator, spoke about their work in the intervention of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in northern South Sudan.  In the video, Pau emphasizes that “life is not only about a body to be fed, a body to be sheltered but life is also about meaning, learning and preparing for a future.” JRS supports host community members, refugees and internally displaced persons, by providing them with teaching opportunities in subjects ranging from English to social studies.

 

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Humanitarian Newsletter: March 17, 2016

Read the latest newsletter featuring a letter from IIHA Executive Director Brendan Cahill (IDHA 9) announcing new partnerships with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Jesuit Refugee Service – JRS! This edition also remembers the life of CIHC Board Member Boutros Boutros-Ghali and includes a reflection on the IDHA 47 Graduation Ceremony, updates on Humanitarian Innovation from High Tech Humanitarians, and a chance to debate the future of refugee camps.

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Letter from IIHA Executive Director, Brendan Cahill


Dear friends,

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) movement is made up of 190 national societies throughout the world, with more than 100 million members. It has, for nearly twenty years, been a strong partner in our training, sharing its expertise and sending its members for our courses. On February 25, I joined IFRC Secretary General, H.E. Elhadj As Sy, in signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the IFRC and Fordham University. This agreement recognizes the work we have done together and formalizes our partnership in training, research and other areas of mutual interest.
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We are also pleased to announce a signed Memorandum of Understanding with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Founded in 1975, JRS has, as its mission, “to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons”. We have worked with JRS for many years, training their country directors and regional directors, and, as an Institute within a Jesuit University, our goals are similar.
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In both cases, our partners not only want to offer assistance to those in need, but to also allow them to retain their dignity and to be a part of their own recovery process. With the IFRC, they enable the national societies to rebuild their own capacity. With JRS, they accompany those they serve, and bear personal witness to those trials and tribulations.
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Our Institute began with the idea that we had as much to learn as we did to teach, and our growth, through the IDHA, the MIHA, the undergraduate programs and our publications, is directly connected to the personal relationships we’ve fostered over the last twenty years. These two memoranda build on that.
Best,
Brendan Cahill  (IDHA 9)
IIHA Executive Director

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Humanitarian Newsletter: December 9, 2015

Don’t forget to read the last IIHA newsletter of the semester! This edition features a letter from IIHA Executive Director, Brendan Cahill, a ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ Thank You from CIHC, IIHA Alumni Updates, and humanitarian jobs & events! It also includes a note of congratulations to IIHA partner Jesuit Refugee Service as the organization celebrates 35 years of service, advocacy, and accompaniment!

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Letter to IIHA Family from Prem

On February 25, 2015, the IIHA announced the release of Alexis Premkumar “Prem” Antonysamy, S.J. (IDHA 32, MIHA), who had been held in captivity by the Taliban since June 2014. Following the news of Fr. Prem’s release, the IIHA began a letter writing campaign to share with Prem the thoughts and prayers of the IIHA community. The IIHA received an overwhelming amount of messages, posts, and emails from current students, alumni, lecturers, and friends – all of which were compiled into a book then sent to Prem. Please find below a letter from Prem to the IIHA family in which he extends his gratitude for the thoughts and prayers received throughout his captivity and following his release. The IIHA would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, our IIHA community of family and friends, for your tremendous outpouring of support for one of our own.


Dear my friends of IIHA family,

Greetings from Prem.

I sincerely thank all of you for your prayers and “Letters to Prem.”

Prem (top row, fourth from left) with his IDHA 32 class in Goa, 2010

I strongly believe that besides the efforts of JRS, Jesuits and both Indian and Afghan governments, it is your prayers that has brought me new life.

“Letters to Prem” gives me joy of great memories of my days with you in the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) 32 in Goa, India in 2010, International Diploma in Operational Humanitarian Assistance (IDOHA) in Geneva in 2012 and International Diploma in the Management of Humanitarian Action (IDMHA) in New York in 2013.

During my captivity I thought of you very intensely because I was not able to attend my 4th module in New York, 2014 as planned. I had arranged everything for my travel to USA but it was unfortunate that I was kidnapped on 2nd June, 2014.   I remembered the lecture clearly on ‘security’ by Mr. Larry Hollingworth and I am grateful for that. Perhaps training on security unconsciously helped me to cope with the suffering during the captivity and manage the situation with certain amount of prudence.

It is my prayer that it should not happen to anybody as it happened to me. Nevertheless I am grateful to that event since it has brought so much blessings too. I had great time to be closer to God; I was united with all of you in spirit and now I receive greater love and care from various quarters even from unknown.

My special thanks to Mr. Brendan and Ms. Kasia who were the backbones of “Letters to Prem.”

With kind regards,

Prem (IDHA 32)

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Alumni Update: Elias Sadkni (IDHA 39)

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Elias Sadkni (IDHA 39) recently graduated from the University of Sussex with a Masters Degree in Conflict Security and Development. Elias wrote his dissertation on civil society and peacebuilding in Syria, examining how grassroot organizations can assist with and contribute to the peacebuilding process. Following his graduation, Elias was featured in two articles that describe his plans to return to Syria to continue his work with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) providing food and medical and psychosocial support for the internally displaced. Elias’ future plans also include creating his own peace initiative focused on healing the social rifts created by the war. Congratulations, Elias! Read the articles here and here.

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Alumni Update: Pau Vidal, S.J (IDHA 43)

Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43) was recently featured in an article published by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). In the article, Pau reflects on the World Food Programme (WFP) evacuation of over 200 humanitarian workers from camps in Upper Nile State, South Sudan and discusses how JRS and other agencies are resuming their activities in Maban. He highlights the importance of teachers in the camp setting and speaks briefly about JRS’s teacher-training program.

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Alumni Update: Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43), Alvar Sanchez, S.J. (Humanitarian Negotiators Training Course 8)

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Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43) and Alvar Sanchez, S.J. (Humanitarian Negotiators Training Course 8), are both currently working for the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) mission in Maban, South Sudan. Due to heightened tensions and security concerns that peaked in early August, Pau and Alvar were forced to evacuate Maban, reluctantly leaving behind the “refugees caught between two wars” Pau and Alvar recently returned to Maban, much to their happiness, and are eager to continue their work of service and accompaniment. Read Pau’s article about the situation in Maban.

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