Posts Tagged ‘JRS’

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.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Jesuit Voices from Haiti

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Two days after the powerful earthquake brought more devastation to the island of Haiti, eyewitness accounts from aid workers, Jesuits and others in the country are being shared.

…  just a quick note to let people know things are OK (here in Ounimanthe). Five minutes before the earthquake I was out on the street playing the fiddle for a group of kids that came and asked “if I could come out and play?”  I was in the house when the quake began and I ran outside when it happened. The aftershocks kept coming even into the evening. The power is out and we are currently getting power from the generator.

The capital, on the other side of the country, was hit hard. We have had no communication from the Jesuits in the capital because phones and cell phones are not working. I expect that the Fe y Alegria School, near the epicenter, probably was hit hard.

- Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton
January 13, 2010

The worst news I received is the death of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot – an important man for the Church in Haiti.  I wrote to … (a colleague at) Radio Soleil, but didn’t get a response. … He must be very affected by the death of his bishop. I don’t know what to say.

- Jesuit Fr. Pierre Bélanger
Coordonnateur international – Réseau Étoile – Haïti
January 13, 2010

The situation is very serious.

Even though the Ouanaminthe and the Northeast area have not been greatly affected we still feel the aftershocks here. There are thousands of dead bodies currently on the streets of Port-au-Prince. More than 60 percent of the houses have collapsed in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. Read the rest of this entry »

Jesuit Refugee Service Launches Urgent Appeal for the People of Haiti

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In response to yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, Jesuit Refugee Service is mounting an emergency relief effort to provide lifesaving aid, including food and other urgently needed items, to the Haitian people. Aid will be provided in partnership with the JRS – Latin America & Caribbean regional office, and distributed through JRS programs in the Dominican Republic, Jesuit parishes and other Jesuit programs in Haiti.

For many years Jesuit Refugee Service has had a grassroots presence in Haiti and has provided humanitarian assistance to displaced Haitians in both the Dominican Republic and along the Haitian border. In addition, JRS has responded to the needs of Haitians following successive natural disasters, a food crisis, and repeated hurricanes.

Speaking at the Vatican today, Pope Benedict XVI said “I appeal to the generosity of all people so that these brothers and sisters of ours who are experiencing a moment of need and suffering may not lack our concrete solidarity and the effective support of the international community. The Catholic Church will not fail to move immediately, through her charitable institutions, to meet the most immediate needs of the population.”

The mission of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is to serve, accompany, and defend 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.

As one of the ten geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS/USA serves as the major refugee outreach arm of U.S. Jesuits and their institutional ministries, mobilizing their response to refugee situations in the U.S. and abroad. Through our advocacy and fund raising efforts, JRS/USA also provides support for the work of JRS throughout the world.

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.