The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Colombia has been accompanying forcibly displaced people and local host communities in Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Medio region for over 25 years. Their work focuses on strengthening relationships between displaced people and host populations to facilitate the integration of forcibly displaced families who struggle to adjust to their new environment and face the ever-present threat of violence in the area. The JRS programs also build leadership and support networks for women.
Though a historic peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) was signed in 2016, violence and strife continue to persist. Since the signing of the peace agreement, another 400,000 people within the country have been displaced. In recent years, Colombia has also faced the challenge of hosting and integrating 1.8 million forcibly displaced Venezuelan, a million of whom are living in precarious conditions.
Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) supports the work of JRS Colombia in Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Medio region as they: 1) facilitate workshops on gender-based violence prevention; 2) conduct training sessions on democratic leadership, social cohesion and creating a positive personal and cultural identity; 3) organize community gatherings to integrate migrants and host populations; and 4) advocate for the rights of forcibly displaced people, especially women.
The work of JRS has made a big difference in the lives of forcibly displaced people and host communities. Close to 1,000 men and women in the region have participated in their various programs. JRS hopes to continue to support the vulnerable communities in the area. Their activities help strengthen grassroots organizations, promote leadership and community development and contribute to the peace and reconciliation process between migrants and host communities in Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Medio region.
Director: Fr Mauricio García Duran SJ
Visit the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) website:: jrs.net/en/country/colombia/
Please support JRS’s work among displaced people in Colombia by making a donation: