The refugee crisis has been one of the world's greatest challenges in 2015. Large groups of people are fleeing violence and poverty from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. Since 1980, the Jesuit Refugee Service has been working to help these types of people. Now they're busier than ever. And with the Jubilee, they've launched a new program: "Mercy in Motion.”
FR. THOMAS SMOLICH
Director, Jesuit Refugee Service International
"When Pope Francis announced that we would be having a Holy Year of Mercy in 2016, JRS began to reflect on how we might be able to respond to that call. And we went back to our own roots and our own sense of mission and rediscovered that what we really want to be about is education.”
The objective of the campaign is to almost double the number of refugees that receive formation by 2020. They want to go from 120,000 currently to 220,000 in more than 50 countries.
"Education is life. No one can have life without education. They would be isolated without education in other countries. They would still be living in their problem and all the clashes and all the conflict they have seen. When we try to educate them, what we see is changing them to another type of life and giving them the hope of their future.”
And education can't be done in just any manner. The program particularly wants to reach young people who are in danger of not receiving proper formation.
Jesuit Refugee Service
"We want to offer to refugees the option of accessing university education. Currently only one percent of them study at universities and we so we are starting a program with universities in the United States that will let them study online.”
They want to create sustainable solutions for people that are suffering through a difficult situation for long periods of time. And they need all the help they can get.
Jesuit Refugee Service
"In this campaign we are asking for volunteers and funds, but it is also a campaign that is going to arrive in parishes, in religious congregations and organizations. We are going to mobilize all kinds of collaborators.”
The Jesuit organization also doesn't want people to forget about the more than eight million people displaced within Syria. There are 60 million refugees in the world, a similar number to how many there were following the Second World War.