The JRS offices in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan and Sudan assist refugees, returnees and other forcibly displaced persons in various ways. As a matter of fact we cannot assist everyone in every regard but we do our best within our means, possibilities and expertise.
If you are a refugee, a returnee in Southern Sudan or if you have been internally displaced and you are in need of assistance please contact our respective country office. If you are a refugee living in Kampala, Nairobi or Addis Ababa, please click on the links below to find out what kind of assistance JRS can offer you and how you can find our office.
- Addis Ababa
The JRS Urban Emergency Programme Kampala was started in 1998 to respond to the unmet and urgent needs of urban refugees and asylum seekers.
You can find the Jesuit Refugee Service-Kampala on Old Gaba Road, behind the US Embassy, P.O. Box 7410, Kampala, Uganda. Tel: +256 414 266264 Fax: +256 414 266426 Uep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Asylum seekers in Kampala
New arrivals in Kampala need to report to the Old Kampala Police Station for registration where they
will be issued a registration slip. Two
days later, asylum seekers are to report with all family members and dependents to
Services at JRS Kampala
Food assistance for newly arrived documented asylum seekers in emergency situations for a limited period of time and rent payment for the most vulnerable newly arrived asylum seekers, especially those with big families. Refugees can access medical support for urgent medical case. JRS Kampala offers annual English language classes, and skills training in income generating activities in the following areas to promote self-reliance: driving, catering, hairdressing, computer, soap making and candle making. JRS also assists with advocacy including information-giving, referrals to partner agencies and networking with other organisations
Public Services in Kampala
Asylum Seekers and refugees have access to public primary education and public health services. Parents can enroll their children in all governmental primary schools according to the Universal Primary Education of the Government of Uganda.
Public Health Services in Kampala provided by the Kampala City Council (KCC) are free of charge. Cases which need further intervention will be referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital from the local health centres.
Partner organisations and service providers
InterAid Uganda offers services in livelihood activities: training in
cookery, computer, hairdressing, tailoring and handicrafts, provides counselling services, provides transport, subsistence and accommodation for the
extremely need. The offices of InterAid are located along Kabaka-Njagala Road.
Ugandan Red Cross Society
Persons who have been separated from their family and who wish to trace them, may contact the Uganda Red Cross Society at Lumumba Avenue, Nakasero, Kampala or on Tuesdays only at InterAid offices.
Refugee Law Project
Refugee Law Project is located opposite Old Kampala Primary School and offers free legal aid, counseling, education and training to asylum seekers and refugees. In addition, research, advocacy and consultancies are carried out.
African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV)
ACTV provides physical and psychological care to support the rehabilitation of victims of torture. Refugees and asylum seekers who have been victims of torture can access their services such as medical care, psychological rehabilitation, psychosocial counseling or advocacy after referral from other agencies. The ACTV office is located on Owen Road, Kamwokya.
Hope After Rape
Women and children who have been victims of rape and abuse
Asylum Seekers in Nairobi
Asylum seekers can begin the process of refugee status determination in Nairobi at the Department for Refugee Affairs (DRA). The Kenyan Refugee Act requires asylum seekers to register within 30 days of their arrival in the country, however usually no penalties are imposed for late registration. The asylum seeker's pass issued by DRA is valid for one year.
After initial registration by DRA, asylum-seekers are given another appointment when they can have their refugee claim heard by the UNCHR Eligibility Desk. They will be interviewed regarding their asylum case, then given another couple of dates for further interviews after which they can return to collect the decision on whether or not they are eligible for refugee status. If accepted as refugees, they are given a Mandate Refugee Certificate. Upon request, refugees can relocate to one of the refugee camps. If an asylum-seeker is rejected they may appeal within 30 days of the decision. Agencies Kituo Cha Sheria and the Refugee Consortium of Kenya provide guidance to asylum seekers on their appeal process.
Public Services in Nairobi
Nairobi offers refugees access to education and being treated the same as a Kenyan in primary and secondary school. Refugees have access to City Council Clinics for medical treatment the same as a local. The local judicial administrations of Kenya are also accessible by refugees.
JRS Urban Emergency Programme
The Urban Emergency Programme responds to the urgent unmet needs of new arrivals, asylum seekers and most vulnerable refugees through five parishes of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, situated in lower income and slum areas. It helps refugees survive in a situation new to them by providing food and non-food items, financial and medical assistance and psychosocial support.
Through its Education Programme JRS provides educational opportunities to urban refugees to help them gain knowledge and life-skills for their self-development and or the future reconstruction and development of their countries of origin upon return. 60 percent of urban refugee children have not been able to access educational opportunities in Nairobi due to lack of school fees, uniforms or pre-school education. JRS supports students with pre-school and secondary level educations as well as vocational training.
Address of JRS in Nairobi:
Gitanga Road, behind Maria Immaculata Hospital
00508 Nairobi, Kenya
To contact the team in Nairobi you can email or call +254 20 3874136
Please note: JRS in Nairobi receives refugees from Monday - Thursday from 8:30am-5pm.
Asylum seekers in Addis Ababa
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, asylum seekers should register with the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA). ARRA and UNHCR determine their refugee status, through the Eligibility Committee. Then the decision is made whether the asylum seeker should go to a refugee camp or acquire urban refugee status. In principle, all refugees should be in the camps; whereas only those who have security problems, who need special medical attention or who have other social problems are allowed to stay in Addis until such time that their problems are resolved.
Public Services in Addis Ababa
Refugees with urban refugee status have access to the following public services in Addis Ababa: Bank (government or private), education (pre-primary up to tertiary level), birth and marriage certificates, healthcare (in government and private health institutions), and travel documents (convention travel document from UNHCR and pass permission letter from ARRA).
JRS Emergency Needs Programme
JRS Ethiopia runs the Emergency Needs Programme (ENP) to help meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable asylum-seekers and urban refugees. This entails financial assistance to cater for food, lodging and other needs, transport to the camps, emergency assistance in a crisis situation, and non-food items such as blankets. New arrivals can get medical assistance and can participate in workshops that are held on HIV/AIDS, and other health topics as well as social topics on a regular bases.
JRS also offers group counselling for those in need, seeking to strengthen understanding, mutual respect and fellowship among various ethnic and national groups that are often in conflict with each other.
JRS Refugee Community Centre
The Refugee Community Centre (RCC) works mainly with recognised urban refugees, providing recreational and educational actvities, counselling, child-care, sports, training sessions and other related services for refugees of different nationalities as they await appropriate durable solutions.
The RCC is intended to gainfully occupy urban refugees who have refugee status, and asylum seekers are also welcome to access several of the facilities such as recreational and library services, the TV room, and the internet café. A cafeteria and a beauty salon offer their services at an affordable price. The centre is a place where refugees can come together, form friendships, share experiences and create informal support networks.
The address of the RCC is:
14/Addis Ababa City Government
Kebele 3, House No. 1097
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
You can email the RCC or call: +251 111232335 or 1220026