What's in store for 2024?

“The JRS Singapore team enjoyed an unprecedented year in 2023 and it has been a remarkable journey for us”, remarked our Chair, Caroline at the JRS New Year celebration on 5th January 2024. Our project team leads enthusiastically shared the team’s achievements throughout the year and laid out their plans for the coming year. Gordon Pinto, our Executive Director, predicts that 2024 will be an even more eventful one as JRS expands some current projects and launches new initiatives.

Enjoying an evening of fellowship at the JRS New Year celebration.

The ever-popular digital education programme, E3, has trained more than 300 refugees and asylum seekers residing in Thailand and Indonesia. We will be expanding this E3 programme to enroll students from Malaysia, and an indigenous community in the Philippines. The team will continue to review and update the programme to ensure the digital courses remain relevant and impactful. From July, a new UI/UX course will be introduced to provide a more varied scope for our refugee students.

Our pilot Sister-School programme was a bold initiative. Students from St Gabriel’s Secondary not only made new friends from the Refugee Learning Centre in Indonesia over Zoom, they were also able to widen their horizon and hopefully understand different perspectives. We will move to a new phase of the programme in the coming months. With JRS volunteers acting as facilitators, this group of youths will form smaller teams and discuss different topics such as “What are the challenges faced by the youth of today?”, “What do you think is the best scientific innovation and why?”, “How can we preserve cultures and traditions?” We look forward to see what insights they will share at the end of the programme.

Our digital workshops for our migrant brothers at Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) had a successful run last year and we were delighted to attend a ‘graduation’ lunch in February for the first batch of MWC ambassadors. We intend to reach out to more participants in the later half of 2024. In collaboration with volunteers from Church of Divine Mercy, we will run four handphone photography workshops in the classrooms at MWC from April till July. Apart from this, JRS volunteers will engage our migrant brothers twice a month — accompanying and befriending them, playing simple games and providing a listening ear.

Wed 29May24 MW Photography

JRS Singapore continues to advocate the saving of our Mother Earth. On 23rd May, in collaboration with the Green Movement Ministry at St Ignatius Church, we organized a screening and reflection session on Laudate Deum, the apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis.

In the face of the unrelenting inflationary pressures, coupled with the increased scale of our outreach activities, additional funds will be required to cover our operating costs. We have been blessed by benefactors, especially the Church of St Ignatius. JRS Singapore is one of the two beneficiaries for the Church’s Feast Day Funfair which is scheduled for 28th July. We hope that each and every member of the JRS Singapore family will rally together and participate in every possible way to support this event.

“O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek,
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen” 
~ Prayer of St. Francis.

Indeed, it is going to be a very busy and exciting 2024.

We pray that world leaders resolve conflicts with the welfare of humanity at heart, without resorting to violence. We also pray that everyone plays a part in caring for our planet, and for our brothers and sisters who have been forcibly displaced because of climate crises.

By the Grace of our Lord, JRS Singapore stands in solidarity with our refugee and migrant brothers and sisters.