Our Mission is to Accompany, Serve and Advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. 


JRS/USA witnesses to God's presence in vulnerable and often forgotten people driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of their human rights.  


As one of the ten geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS/USA serves as the major refugee outreach arm of U.S. Jesuits and their institutional ministries, mobilizing their response to refugee situations in the U.S. and abroad. Through our advocacy and fund raising efforts, JRS/USA also provides support for the work of JRS throughout the world.  


JRS/USA gives help, hope, ear and voice to vulnerable people on the move by being present to and bearing witness to their plight; by relieving their human suffering and restoring hope; by addressing the root causes of their displacement and improving international responses to refugee situations. 


In addition, JRS/USA inspires the Ignatian family and others to respond together to the needs of refugees and displaced persons worldwide and forges strong partnerships with like-minded institutions and agencies devoted to the cause of refugees and displaced persons.


JRS works in more than 57 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.
JRS provides primary and secondary education to approximately 170,000 children, and undertakes advocacy to ensure that all displaced children are provided with a quality education.


Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.





Stopping the Boats – A False Dichotomy
(Kings Cross, NSW, Australia) August 26, 2016 – For the past three years we have been told by the Australian government that offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island is necessary to deter others from making the dangerous sea journey. But this choice – sending refugees to offshore processing centers or deaths at sea – is a false dichotomy. There are alternatives
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Walk a Mile in My Shoes
While it is impossible to fully comprehend what it is like to be forced from your home and live as a refugee, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA invites you to host a Walk a Mile in My Shoes simulation, which provides individuals and communities with an opportunity to pause and experience, if only vicariously and for a few moments, the frustrations, disappointments and hopes that refugees around the world face. 
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Take Action on World Humanitarian Day
(Washington, D.C.) August 18, 2016 — Humanitarian aid workers stand daily on the front lines of war and disaster, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver assistance to those who need it most. World Humanitarian Day — commemorated each August 19 — recognizes those who risk their lives in humanitarian service and mobilizes all of us to advocate for humanitarian action.
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Uganda: sketches, colors, patterns, and a new life
(Kampala, Uganda) August 11, 2016 – As a young girl, Agnes fled a notorious Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, but through educational opportunities she was able to pursue her passion for fashion. She now gives back to refugees as the Jesuit Refugee Service fashion and design teacher in Kampala – where they work to be self-reliant.
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Spotlight on the United Nations Summit
(Washington, D.C.) August 9, 2016 — Prompted by concern for the increased numbers of refugees and migrants in the world, and the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the widespread failure of the international community to respond to their needs compassionately, the United Nations will convene high level meetings in September.
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South Sudan: Violence Fuels Humanitarian Crisis
(Juba, South Sudan) August 5, 2016 – South Sudan faces a spiraling humanitarian crisis, as the recent surge in fighting prevents aid agencies from providing urgent help to millions. Violence and insecurity continue in Juba and are spreading to other states, despite a fragile ceasefire in a country where half the population rely on humanitarian aid.
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Australia: Stopping the boats does not solve the problem
(Kings Cross, NSW) August 3, 2016 – Austria’s foreign minister has suggested that people seeking asylum in Europe should not be allowed to enter the continent, but should be held on offshore islands instead. But if Foreign Minister Kurz were to look more closely he would see that such tough border policies are having potentially catastrophic consequences.
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A fragile South Sudan threatens the lives, health, homes and education of millions
(Nairobi, Kenya) August 1, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service is deeply concerned of the fragile state of affairs in South Sudan after fighting re-erupted and killed nearly 300 civilians in the capital Juba more than two weeks ago.
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Ethiopia: dancers bring rhythm to their lives in exile
(Mai Aini, Ethiopia) July 26, 2016 — Luwam was once at the center of her nation's spotlight. As a member of Eritrea’s national dance team, she performed for government officials and fellow citizens at national celebrations, receiving accolades for her captivating talent. But despite now living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, she continues to dance.
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JRS joins Tent Alliance to aid refugees
(Washington, D.C.) July 13, 2016 – Jesuit Refugee Service is pleased to announce it has joined the Tent Alliance, a partnership of major companies and nonprofit groups dedicated to helping refugees worldwide, with an ultimate goal of finding solutions to end the global refugee crisis. The partnership will allow JRS to develop relationships with key private and nonprofit partners in a wide range of sectors.
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Recent stories
Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis
(Washington, D.C.) July 11, 2016 — Matthew Soerens is the U.S. Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief — an international non-profit specializing in refugee resettlement — and co-author of a new book called Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis. In this Q&A, Soerens discusses worldwide displacement issues and the Christian response to the refugee crisis.
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Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies Cannot Wait
(Washington, D.C.) July 7, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service operates education programming in more than 38 countries serving more than 141,000 refugees and displaced persons. JRS has observed that education provides stability and a sense of normalcy, and acts as a form of vital psychosocial support to youth whose lives have been affected by crisis.
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Canada opens homes, hearts to refugees
(Washington, D.C.) July 5, 2016 – As the Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Canada, Norbert Piché works with the Jesuit Provincials of Canada to sponsor refugees and incorporate them into Canadian life. Through his work with JRS Piché has helped many vulnerable families escape the violence of their native country and feel at home in an unfamiliar place.
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Eritrean refugee faces challenges with grace
(Addis Ababa) June 27, 2016 — Selam Gebru is an Eritrean refugee who fled her homeland seeking safety eight years ago. A single mother of an autistic child, Selam holds two university degrees. She spoke with JRS about the challenges she faces as a refugee, and the long road to a hoped for resettlement to the United States.
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Young refugee tells world of lost ‘Shangri-La’
(Washington, D.C.) June 24, 2016 – Like the mythical paradise of Shangri-La, the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan has been an elusive dream for Dipesh Timsina. But this passionate 19-year-old is determined to let the world to know the “children of Shangri-Lost” — youth like himself raised in refugee camps by parents exiled from Bhutan — are very real.
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‘Given the opportunity we can really do great things’
(Washington, D.C.) June 22, 2016 – Prabhat Adhikari was born and raised in a tight-knit Bhutanese settlement in the shadow of the Himalayas. Yet he’s never stepped foot inside his ancestral homeland of Bhutan. Instead, a cramped refugee camp in nearby Nepal was the only home he knew for the first 19 years of his life.
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World Refugee Day: ‘No situation is permanent’
(Washington, D.C.) June 20, 2016) – Malith Chan entered the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya at age 14 after fleeing horrific violence in his native South Sudan. But with the help of Jesuit Refugee Service he was able to further his education. Malith, now 19, has a new life in Phoenix and aspires to become a civil engineer.
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World Refugee Day 2016 — open minds, unlock potential
(Rome) June 20, 2016 — An unprecedented 60 million people  — mothers, fathers, sisters and children — have fled their homes seeking safety. Imagine everyone in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado in motion: taking trucks, rafts, footpaths and trains; taking children, blankets, clothing and, most often, taking nothing.
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Emmylou Harris: Refugees ‘have so much to offer’
(Shire, Ethiopia) June 17, 2016 – Grammy winning singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris traveled to Ethiopia in June as part of a Jesuit Refugee Service delegation to learn more about issues affecting refugees, particularly the need for education. Ms. Harris talked with JRS about her impressions, how she came to partner with JRS and what the world can do to help mitigate the refugee crisis.
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Emmylou Harris: Refugees ‘have so much to offer’
(Shire, Ethiopia) June 17, 2016 – Grammy winning singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris traveled to Ethiopia in June as part of a Jesuit Refugee Service delegation to learn more about issues affecting refugees, particularly the need for education. Ms. Harris talked with JRS about her impressions, how she came to partner with JRS and what the world can do to help mitigate the refugee crisis.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. The Refugee Voice newsletter Multimedia stories of refugees Community Outreach Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Any Refugee: Cards of Hope Recommended Reading Way of the Cross



Walk a Mile in My Shoes: How to Host a Refugee Experience




2015 Annual Report




Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies Cannot Wait




Providing Hope, Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies & Protracted Crises




Servir No. 61




Putting Mercy in Motion




Pope Francis Address to JRS