IFJA is an organisation which represents the past pupil Unions of Irish Jesuit Colleges. These are:
- Belvedere College
- Gonzaga College
- Clongowes Wood College
- Crescent College Comprehensive
- Colaiste & Scoil Iognaid
- Mungret College
The current Committee is comprised of:
|Chairman:||Tony White||Crescent College|
|Hon. Secretary:||John O’Reilly||Belvedere College|
|Committee:||Andrew Lynch||Clongowes Wood College|
|Paul Keelan||Gonzaga College|
|Fr. Peter Sexton S.J.||Trinity College|
The objective of IFJA is to provide a forum where the Unions meet, share ideas and collaborate. It also provides an organisational link with Jesuit Alumni worldwide through its participation in the bi-annual conferences arranged by the European Confederation of Jesuit Alumni (ECJA) and the World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) at its conferences held every four years. The most recent events attended were in Malta (March 2017) and Rome (September 2016). At both of these conferences the theme was “Migration and Refugees” with lectures from those directly involved in the provision of services to the many people seeking a new life in Europe. The principal lecturers were from the Jesuit Refugee Service, founded in 1980, see below for more information on the work of the JRS.
The conference in Rome in September 2016, concluded with a private audience with Pope Francis at which he said “I urge you to draw on the joys and successes that your Jesuit education has given you by supporting the education of refugees throughout the world. Together with the Jesuit Refugee Service, put your money in motion and help transform this educational reality. In doing so, you will build a stronger Europe and a brighter future for refugees”.
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Ireland
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic non-governmental organisation, founded in 1980. Our mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
JRS Ireland works primarily in the areas of: Asylum Seeker Support; Integration; Detention and Advocacy. The greatest need for our services arises from individuals and families living in state provided Direct Provision accommodation. On an annual basis, JRS Ireland provides direct services to over 1,500 asylum seekers and other forced migrants through accompaniment and outreach, capacity building initiatives, intercultural activities and detention visits. There are over 800 volunteers giving assistance in the delivery or support JRS Ireland activities.
The model of engagement with asylum seekers in Ireland is based on JRS International’s accompaniment of forced migrants in refugee camps, cities and in places of detention.
- JRS Ireland staff visit individuals and families in 13 Direct Provision centres in Dublin, Limerick, Clare, Portlaoise, Kildare and Meath.
- 100 non-Irish nationals, detained in the Dochas centre attached to Mountjoy prison, are visited on a weekly basis.
- In 2016, over 1,300 JRS Ireland service users benefitted from psychosocial support.
JRS services are developed and delivered in response to the needs identified through our outreach on the ground and accompaniment of asylum seekers.
- Over 1,000 persons participated in or benefitted from educational supports/ services in 2016.
- Nearly 200 asylum seekers living long term in Direct Provision have participated in the JRS Ireland Transition Project, which aims to develop and enhance the skills necessary for independent living.
- The annual JRS Ireland Summer Programme is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of children living in Direct Provision in Dublin through a month-long calendar of activities that offer the opportunity for play, integration and development of their social skills.
- Over 1,000 presents delivered to children living in Direct Provision in 2016 as part of the JRS Ireland Christmas Toy Appeal.
JRS Ireland advocates to bring about positive structural changes within the Irish asylum and immigration system that directly benefit asylum seekers, refugees and the forcibly displaced.
- JRS Ireland has directly assisted over 500 asylum seekers living more than 5 years in Direct Provision to have their case concluded and status resolved.
- JRS Ireland advocated for a stronger national response to the plight of refugees arriving in Europe, successfully making the case for an enhanced resettlement programme in 2016 in light of the scale of the crisis.
- Over 1,000 Intercultural and Interfaith calendars distributed on annual basis to raise awareness and celebrate diversity in Ireland.
- JRS Ireland acts as joint chair of the Limerick Integration Working Group (IWG) and works in partnership with networks throughout Ireland in order to best meet the needs of asylum seekers and bring additional value to the apostolic work of the Society of Jesus.