FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2020
International Strategic Conference on Migrants and Refugees
Looking for an integrated response to vulnerable migrants in and out of Africa
“We, Jesuits and collaborators in Africa, inspired by the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus and Pope Francis´ call, commit ourselves to welcome, protect, promote and seek the integration of vulnerable migrants.
Our call to serve vulnerable migrants includes forcibly displaced people –internally displaced, refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons-, survivors of human trafficking, people in transit and those forcibly returned.
In serving vulnerable migrants collaboratively, we will be especially attentive to those suffering discrimination because of gender, age and disability.”
This is the commitment reached at the International Conference on Migration and Refugees held in Nairobi, Kenya from January 20-22. The conference was organized by the Jesuits Justice and Ecology Network (JENA) and it has brought together social centers, Jesuit Refugee Service, universities, Lead Magis (youth network), Church institutions and partners in mission from Europe.
The objectives of the conference were to complete a mapping of the Jesuit ministry to vulnerable migrants in Africa, to develop strategies for the coordination of the Jesuit Migrants and Refugees ministries in Africa and to develop strategies for international institutional collaboration among the Jesuit ministries in Africa and Europe.
During the first half of the conference, presenters took the stage to highlight the big political, social and economic challenges faced by vulnerable migrants in different regions of Africa. The sessions that followed included a mapping exercise among the participants followed by group discussions that brought participants to a space of collaboration. The conference identified six clusters of collaboration, as well as defined a simple network structure for tracking the results of the conference.
“In serving vulnerable migrants, we recognize networking as the best way to organise ourselves”, said Fr. Charles Chilufya SJ, Director of JENA.
About the Jesuits Justice and Ecology Network (JENA)
The Jesuits Justice Ecology Network Africa (JENA) is a diverse community of faith-inspired Jesuit NGOs, also known as Social Centres, related Jesuit Institutions, individual Jesuit peace and development activists and scholars driven by a vision of a just, poverty-free, peaceful and ecologically regenerative Africa. JENA operates under the aegis of the Justice and Ecology Office of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM).