Archive for the ‘Refugee’ Category

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Director on Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts

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Jesuit Refugee Service has provided emergency relief in the form of food, medicine, tents and debris-removal tools to about 16,000 citizens in Port-au-Prince to aid their recovery from last week’s devastating earthquake. Additionally, in coordinated efforts with partner organizations in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, JRS has set up several locations throughout the countries to deliver aid to more people suffering from the effects of the earthquake in an efficient and organized manner. One of the JRS staging centers for earthquake relief in Haiti is the Jesuit novitiate in Port-au-Prince. Tents have been set up in the courtyard for medical volunteers to sleep in, and trucks unload their goods at the novitiate as well.

In this short video clip below, Jesuit Father Ken Gavin, national director of JRS/USA, speaks to the efforts of JRS as they move much needed supplies across the Dominican Republic/Haitian border into Port-au-Prince to their staging centers.

While the current needs are for the emergency resources for the earthquake victims, JRS will continue to be a presence in Haiti, long the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, with help in their long-term needs for stabilization, education and relief from widespread poverty.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

“He Descended Into Hell” – Jesuit Brother Writes from Scene of Haitian Earthquake

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Member of Team Rubicon on the Ruins of the Jesuit Novitiate in Port Au Prince, Haiti

Members of Team Rubicon on the ruins of the Jesuit Novitiate in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

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Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton, recently assigned to Haiti to work at a school, is now apart of the rapid response team of Jesuits and U.S. Marine veterans assembled to quickly get medical personnel and supplies into Port au Prince. Named “Team Rubicon”, the operation is privately funded and includes former servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan who can can operate both as security personnel and as medics.

On Team Rubicon’s blog, Br. Boynton writes of his recent experiences in Haiti and dealing with the devastating aftermath. National Jesuit News is reaching out to Br. Boynton to continue to get updates from him in Haiti.

“He descended into Hell”….  I have said these words every time I have prayed the Creed at Sunday mass, or the rosary.  I have prayed these words often, but have never understood them until now.  The smell of stale death is something that until now I have only experienced in roadkill in Northern Michigan roads.  Usually a raccoon or a skunk, but never a person, and never many persons.  In the past 6 years I have had the honor to serve on numerous medical brigades to the garbage dumps of Guatemala and Honduras, but nothing I have ever seen or done prepared me for the sights of the last few days.  I am new to Haiti, and only arrived on November 1st to work in a school.  To be honest I was nervous about that, but a school in Haiti now seems no more daunting than a classroom at University of Detroit Jesuit High School, or St. Ignatius Cleveland, where I taught history for years.  What is daunting now is Haiti itself.  “Haiti cherie”, or “dear Haiti”, as this country is called by those who love her, is suffering.  The news may report that help is being sent from all over the world, but today we are 6 days past the quake, yet at our location we were the first foreign aid to arrive.  Most is bottlenecked in the airport.  The only other non-Haitians I saw today were reporters from Caritas, Germany.  One left his team to help us secure transportation for the wounded and in the end for ourselves.

“He rose from the dead”… is another part of the Creed so often prayed.  There is hope, there is a resurrection.  Good is stronger than bad.  Today the Haitians triaged themselves in an orderly fashion, the most wounded getting to see a doctor first, something that is difficult to attain in any American hospital on any given night.  The amount of gratitude on part of the wounded, their families, and strangers is overwhelming.  Today 4 times I flagged a car off the street to take vital cases to the nearest operation room.  Gas is over $25 a gallon, if available, but each time strangers said yes.  Our return transportation failed to arrive.  Strangers loaded us into two trucks to drive us to the other side of town, regardless of curfew, and regardless of looters.

“To give and not to count the cost”…. is from the prayer of St. Ignatius, the founder of my religious order.  Somehow through a strange course of events, I have found myself with a group of men who are living these words to their fullest.  In spite of the difficulties, the struggle for organization, and lack of everything medical, the team I am with is making an incredible difference.  After today’s work many will lose limbs, some may not walk, but others had the first chance at life in 6 days.

The motivations for each of us on this team is different.  I am here because of my faith in Jesus Christ.  If you share my faith, I would ask that you pray for the people of Haiti, and pray for the men I am with.  Please make both a prayer of thanksgiving, for the people of Haiti are beautiful, and the team is as well.

Brother Jim Boynton, S.J.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

"He Descended Into Hell" – Jesuit Brother Writes from Scene of Haitian Earthquake

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Member of Team Rubicon on the Ruins of the Jesuit Novitiate in Port Au Prince, Haiti

Members of Team Rubicon on the ruins of the Jesuit Novitiate in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Share/Bookmark
Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton, recently assigned to Haiti to work at a school, is now apart of the rapid response team of Jesuits and U.S. Marine veterans assembled to quickly get medical personnel and supplies into Port au Prince. Named “Team Rubicon”, the operation is privately funded and includes former servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan who can can operate both as security personnel and as medics.

On Team Rubicon’s blog, Br. Boynton writes of his recent experiences in Haiti and dealing with the devastating aftermath. National Jesuit News is reaching out to Br. Boynton to continue to get updates from him in Haiti.

“He descended into Hell”….  I have said these words every time I have prayed the Creed at Sunday mass, or the rosary.  I have prayed these words often, but have never understood them until now.  The smell of stale death is something that until now I have only experienced in roadkill in Northern Michigan roads.  Usually a raccoon or a skunk, but never a person, and never many persons.  In the past 6 years I have had the honor to serve on numerous medical brigades to the garbage dumps of Guatemala and Honduras, but nothing I have ever seen or done prepared me for the sights of the last few days.  I am new to Haiti, and only arrived on November 1st to work in a school.  To be honest I was nervous about that, but a school in Haiti now seems no more daunting than a classroom at University of Detroit Jesuit High School, or St. Ignatius Cleveland, where I taught history for years.  What is daunting now is Haiti itself.  “Haiti cherie”, or “dear Haiti”, as this country is called by those who love her, is suffering.  The news may report that help is being sent from all over the world, but today we are 6 days past the quake, yet at our location we were the first foreign aid to arrive.  Most is bottlenecked in the airport.  The only other non-Haitians I saw today were reporters from Caritas, Germany.  One left his team to help us secure transportation for the wounded and in the end for ourselves.

“He rose from the dead”… is another part of the Creed so often prayed.  There is hope, there is a resurrection.  Good is stronger than bad.  Today the Haitians triaged themselves in an orderly fashion, the most wounded getting to see a doctor first, something that is difficult to attain in any American hospital on any given night.  The amount of gratitude on part of the wounded, their families, and strangers is overwhelming.  Today 4 times I flagged a car off the street to take vital cases to the nearest operation room.  Gas is over $25 a gallon, if available, but each time strangers said yes.  Our return transportation failed to arrive.  Strangers loaded us into two trucks to drive us to the other side of town, regardless of curfew, and regardless of looters.

“To give and not to count the cost”…. is from the prayer of St. Ignatius, the founder of my religious order.  Somehow through a strange course of events, I have found myself with a group of men who are living these words to their fullest.  In spite of the difficulties, the struggle for organization, and lack of everything medical, the team I am with is making an incredible difference.  After today’s work many will lose limbs, some may not walk, but others had the first chance at life in 6 days.

The motivations for each of us on this team is different.  I am here because of my faith in Jesus Christ.  If you share my faith, I would ask that you pray for the people of Haiti, and pray for the men I am with.  Please make both a prayer of thanksgiving, for the people of Haiti are beautiful, and the team is as well.

Brother Jim Boynton, S.J.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

Jesuit Refugee Service Establishes Centers to Coordinate Relief Efforts in Haiti

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JRS Sites

Jesuit Refugee Service in the Dominican Republic – working in coordination with JRS Haiti and other Jesuit relief efforts there – has established three centers in the Dominican Republic to coordinate the transfer of food, medicine and other emergency supplies to the people of Haiti.

The three operations centers are located in Santo Domingo, at the JRS Bono Center; Jimani, on the southern border between the DR and Haiti, the main port of entry because of its proximity to Port-au-Prince; and Puerto Tabar Principe, at the premises of the Jesuit novitiate there.

Jesuit Father Mario Serrano is helping to organize and process the supplies from the Dominican Republic into Haiti; he has made several trips into Haiti to assess needs there.

“We’re still in the process of responding to the emergency, offering a supportive presence, food and medicine. Little by little we are building the most effective methods for supplying timely and beneficial aid to the people,” said Fr. Serrano.

The supportive presence mentioned by Fr. Serrano embodies the concept of accompaniment, one of the core missions of JRS. “Our close and direct contact with people, our presence with them … allows us to understand their real needs,” says Jesuit Fr. Bernard Arputhasamy, Regional Director of Jesuit Refugee Service – Asia Pacific.

JRS has established several sites throughout the hardest hit areas of Haiti. Some of these, and the partners JRS is working with, are indicated on this map. http://bit.ly/86cUp7

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Temporary Protected Status Designation Offers Haitians a Lifeline

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haiti_tps_fuchs_01Jesuit Refugee Service/USA applauded the decision by the United States today to allow  Haitians currently in the U.S. the legal status to remain  in the US, to work and to send remittances home. JRS thanked their supporters and the Ignatian Community for taking action on this issue and letting the administration know that our community supports Temporary Protected Status/TPS as a component of a comprehensive humanitarian response to the disaster in Haiti. Granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitians already here will give them a chance to stay temporarily on our shores as they await a moment when they can return home in safety and dignity

The Jesuit Refugee Service office in Haiti has witnessed firsthand how little is available to address the overwhelming needs facing the Haitian population. Following the recent earthquake, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have been forced from their homes and  lack the most basic services and supplies. With  schools, hospitals road and bridges in ruins Haiti is in no position to offer support  to returnees.

Religious leaders who minister to Haitian communities throughout Haiti report continued water shortages, food shortages, an increasingly desperate population, and the inability of the Haitian government to fill the urgent needs of quake survivors.

Jesuit Fr. Kawas Francois, the Jesuit leader in Haiti, told us yesterday that “People lack everything: water, food, blankets and tents. They sleep in the streets. The dead are in the streets and under the rubble. Sanitary conditions are deteriorating.”

Congress established Temporary Protected Status to grant safety to foreign nationals in just such circumstances as those that currently face Haiti. The destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti has made the safe return of Haitian nationals to their country impossible.

TPS will allow Haitians currently here to stay and work temporarily in the United States, as a response to the natural disasters that have recently plagued the country. Remittances from Haitians granted TPS will allow more than $1 billion in aid  to be sent to family members families still suffering on the island. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti already depends significantly on remittances. By allowing some 30,000 Haitians to work and send remittances to 150,000 to 300,000 persons in Haiti, the despair of an entire country will be reduced.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.