News Detail
"In the midst of conflict and instability, education offers refugees the intellectual nourishment to rebuild their lives." — Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, Jesuit Refugee Service International Director
First Class of 48 Refugees Graduate from Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins

October 3, 2013 — After years of hard work in harsh conditions, the first group of 48 refugees graduated with diplomas in Liberal Studies last week from an innovative online education program sponsored by Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins and Jesuit Refugee Service.

The first graduation ceremony took place in Kakuma camp in northwestern Kenya, where 25 refugees received diplomas accredited by Regis University in Denver. The second ceremony was held in Dzaleka camp in central Malawi, where 23 more students graduated. 

"This is an incredible moment for these refugees, their families and communities. After being forced to flee in search of safety, shelter, food and employment, the idea of university seemed unattainable. It is a journey from survival to rebirth, the transformation in the lives of refugees and their communities," said Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, Jesuit Refugee Service International Director. 

Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins offers refugees an opportunity to obtain higher education and help their communities, combining new technology with Ignatian pedagogy, emphasizing learning through experience, reflection, evaluation and service.

With the assistance of Jesuit universities and Jesuit Refugee Service field staff, Higher Education at the Margins employs the Internet, on-site teachers, mentors and tutors to offer accredited diploma courses and certificates of learning, known as Community Service Learning Track (CSLT), to refugees. More than 1,200 refugees are expected to participate in the pilot phase of the program, ending in August 2014. Hundreds in Jordan, Kenya and Malawi are already enrolled in online higher education courses and diploma programs. The program will soon be expanded to Afghanistan and Chad, with plans to grow to 10 sites by 2018.

"In the midst of conflict and instability, education offers refugees the intellectual nourishment to rebuild their lives. Not only does this program prepare participants professionally, it has an impact on whole communities. Higher education builds leaders, imbued with the values of social responsibility and justice. These graduation days are historic events. They mark a beginning in the lives of the individuals and their communities,” said Fr. Balleis. [Jesuit Refugee Service]


Recent News

May 20, 2015 — The vocational call came early for Jesuit Father Jonathan Haschka — when he was just a freshman at his Jesuit high school.

May 18, 2015 — Nearly 300 Jesuits will gather at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles this June — all Canadian and U.S. Jesuits currently in formation and their provincials.

May 12, 2015 — Jesuits are responding to the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 and has killed over 4,000 people.

May 15, 2015 — Tiny, a three-legged golden retriever born with a deformed right front leg, has a new prosthetic leg thanks to a computer science class at Xavier University.

May 13, 2015 — Jesuit Father Richard McGowan is nicknamed “Padre Pecado” — the “Priest of Sin” — due to his status as a leading expert on the economics of alcohol and gambling.

May 12, 2015 — Last year, 21 Jesuits in Canada and the U.S. were called to final vows, and many took the opportunity to reflect on the greatest blessing of their Jesuit vocation.

May 11, 2015 — Nativity Preparatory School, a Jesuit middle school, has transformed the lives of young men with a tuition-free, first-class education since its founding in 1990.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 5/25/15-6/1/15

America - 5/18/15

America - 5/11/15



Loyola Retreat House
Situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, Loyola Retreat House is located 35 miles south of Washington, D.C., in southern Maryland.