Imago Dei — Humanitarian Aid Worker

An excerpt from Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope & Home.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA invites schools and parishes to stage Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope & Home, a company-produced piece of documentary theater written and produced by the students of Jesuit High School of Sacramento for JRS/USA.

We offer two versions of the Imago Dei script, one designed for a full theatrical production of the play Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope, & Home, a second script adapted for dramatic readings and small group events. Included with scripts are discussion questions designed to guide group dialogue and reflection after the performance/dramatic reading.

Learn more about staging the play here: jrsusa.org/imagodei

The play is about the experiences of refugees and the forcibly displaced and based on Jesuit Refugee Service’s 30 years of accompaniment, service and advocacy on behalf of refugees.

Students from the Drama Department at Jesuit High School of Sacramento wrote and produced the play. Other students came from St. Francis High, El Camino High and Rio Americano High.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA hopes the play will allow audiences to ‘stand in the shoes’ of forcibly displaced people and refugees to gain a deeper understanding of what life is like for them.

Earlier this year Jesuit Refugee Service/USA pitched the idea of commissioning Jesuit Drama students to use true accounts compiled by JRS/USA from years of assisting and supporting uprooted people to write a script and produce a play.

JRS/USA hopes the play will allow audiences to “stand in the shoes” of forcibly displaced people and refugees to gain a deeper understanding of what life is like for them.

Learn more: jrsusa.org

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Pre-school nutrition program aids Haitian town

Jesuit Refugee Service is seeking to provide a head start to students in Fond Parisien, Haiti, a small town near the border with the Dominican Republic.

While bolstering the ability of children to succeed in future educational pursuits, the early childhood education program also acts as a protection mechanism for these young Haitians.

For more information about our programs in Haiti, please visit our website jrsusa.org or bit.ly/n4updB

About Us: Jesuit Refugee Service

The mission of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, witnessing to God’s presence in vulnerable and often forgotten people driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of their human rights.

JRS/USA is one of 10 geographic regions of Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus.

In coordination with the JRS International Office in Rome, JRS/USA provides advocacy, financial and human resources for JRS regions throughout the world.

Learn more jrsusa.org

Refugee Voices

Student refugees from Darfur attending a Jesuit Refugee Service school at Djabal Refugee Camp in eastern Chad talk about their hopes for the future.

Jesuit Refugee Service built the secondary school in eastern Chad with a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Djabal is home to thousands of refugees from Darfur, in neighboring Sudan.

JRS: Meeting emergency needs of refugees in Ethiopia

The Jesuit Refugee Service Emergency Needs Program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, serves the needs of asylum-seekers and refugees from Somalia and elsewhere in Africa who seek to escape famine, war and persecution in their homelands. The program was established in 1997, initially as a parish outreach program, and became the ENP in 2004.

“The Emergency Needs Program is mainly for asylum seekers, for those who are newcomers to Ethiopia,” said JRS Ethiopia Country Director Seyoum Asfaw.

“The newcomers sometimes come directly to JRS, and sometimes they are referred to us by the local parish. Sometimes the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, the government body concerning refugees, refers them to JRS, and UNHCR also refers these refugees to JRS.”

Read the full story on the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website. bit.ly/o4wD4C

For Haiti, clean water is life

Clean water for consumption and irrigation is the goal of a new project sponsored by Jesuit Refugee Service in the mountains of Haiti.

Organized by Catholic nuns to supply fresh and clean water to the community, a pipe will transfer water from higher in the mountains to stone cisterns were it can be stored, before then being piped further down the mountainside to the central community and surrounding fields.

“The place we used to drink water from before, pigs and piglets used to be in that water. All the animals were drinking there, and doing whatever there. Sister Maria saw that, and said if we didn’t have clean water all the children are going to die,” said Ereze Prophétte.

The irrigation systems allow local farmers to have a steady supply of water for their fields and additionally allow local residents to have community gardens and gardens outside their own homes to grow their own food; altogether these efforts work toward restoring the livelihood of the community. For the Dominican Sisters water is a major catalyst for community organizing and change.

“We’ve proposed that there be no people living near or animals kept around the source of the water, this will help keep the water clean. A pipe will carry the water from the source to a cistern, and there will be a purification process before the water is held in the cistern,” said Sr. Maria.

“Farmers will have clean water to protect their families’ lives. The people here will be able to have their own gardens in front of their houses.”

Learn more: jrsusa.org/haiti

Los Cacaos: Road to Clean Water

A new project spearheaded by Catholic nuns and sponsored by Jesuit Refugee Service aims to bring healthy water and reliable irrigation to this mountain village in central Haiti.

Los Cacaos is located near Banica in the Dominican Republic. The area is parched and dusty during the dry season, and muddy and dangerous when tropical storms lash the countryside. The area was nearly impassable before the nuns arrived and bulldozed more than 23 miles of roads through the rocky mountains.

“The nuns came to help us, especially with the road. This is one of the greatest things we’ve ever had,” said Ereze Prophétte, 62, of Los Cacaos.

“Before the road we used to have a lot of problems here. When a woman was pregnant and ready to give birth, but had problems, we had to take that woman on a chair or a kind of hammock and get her to Banica,” said Desinard Oracius, 52. “By the help of God, and of Maria, we have this road today. Trucks can get to us, and take us when we have to get to a hospital.”

Learn more by reading the full story at jrsusa.org/haiti