Jesuit Refugee Services celebrates 30 years of services in Uganda

(Last Updated On: 17 November 2023)

Adjumani I At least more than 1500 nationals and refugees are to benefit from vocational skills training in Adjumani as Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) celebrates 30 years of service in Uganda.

JRS started in 1993 and has been offering early childhood education, primary secondary education and tertiary education to refugees and vulnerable members of the host community.

As part of the achievements of the 30 years, JRS is opening a vocational skills training program in Adjumani that will enrol 300 students every year for five years.

According to Ms Agnes Asimwe, the project director of JRS in Adjumani, the vocational skills training is intended to train students in catering, carpentry, agriculture; crop farming, fashion and design, building and construction which will take 6 months.

“Our strategy is to manage the vocational skills training for 5 years and after that hand it over to the government, we got support from the Conrad billion to support this project as we celebrate the 30 years of dedicated services in Uganda, we are going to construct dormitories for the students and each year we shall enrol 300 students,” Asimwe said.

The country director of JRS Uganda, Ms Christina Zetlmosl, said JRS offered educational support after realizing that so many children were fleeing their country and yet they needed schools.

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She noted that every year, JRS has been supporting close to 30,000 children in schools at different levels.

“JRS is not celebrating 30 years of displacement, but we are celebrating 30 years of offering services to refugees and host communities, we have chosen to celebrate it in Adjumani because of the special relationship that JRS has with Adjumani,” the country director stated.

Mr Rogers Irumba Kaija, the under-secretary of relief, disaster management and refugees under OPM, who represented the chief guest (the minister for disaster management and refugees), in his remarks lauded the contributions of JRS in Uganda.

“As a ministry, we have noticed that the JRS is supporting more than 167,000 urban refugees and more than 1 million other refugees, we request that you extend your services to places like Lamwo and others and as a ministry, we shall continue to support JRS,” he said.

Mr Mathew Okot Thomas is the head teacher of Pagirinya Refugee Secondary School. He was a direct beneficiary of the JRS program since senior four attested that, he was able to attain higher education with the support of JRS.

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“I was born a refugee, educated as a refugee and growing old as a refugee. I started as a volunteer teacher before I went to ‘A’ level and University,” Okot said.

The Bishop of Arua Diocese Bishop Sabino Ochan Odoki who animated mass as part of the activities to grace the 30 years said, that JRS had a holistic approach to human development that included spiritual nourishment.

“As JRS celebrates 30 years of service, the opening of vocational skills training will go a long way in empowering the refugees and host communities spiritually and economically,” the bishop said.


JRS established a number of secondary schools like Alere Secondary School, Mungula Secondary School, Itula Secondary School and other primary schools like Robidire Primary, and Alere Primary among others all employed and supported more than 3000 teachers.

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