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.

2017 Annual Report Brief
Washington, DC 16 August 2018 – Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is proud to present our 2017 Annual Report. 2017 was a year of unprecedented response from JRS supporters, and we are thrilled to share a summary of your impact.
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South Sudan: Fostering Peace Through Sports
Yambio, 15 August 2018 – Imagine a world where sports are used to settle conflicts instead of violence. Wishful thinking? Not at all. A JRS Yambio project in South Sudan has made this a reality.
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Urge the Administration to Welcome Refugees
Washington, DC 10 August 2018 – Reports indicate that the Administration may continue to reduce the refugee resettlement program by potentially setting the refugee admissions goal for FY19 at a drastic new low of 25,000 refugees. Urge the Administration and Congress to provide a life-saving option for refugees who are unable to return home or stay in the country to which they fled by setting a refugee admission target of at least 75,000 refugees in FY19.
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Remembering the Yazidi Genocide in Sinjar
Duhok, 3 August 2018 - Four years after the genocide of Yazidi people in the Sinjar/Shingal district of northern Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Yazidis are still displaced in camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. An estimated 100,000 fled to neighboring countries and beyond in search of safety and a new beginning, while as many as 3,000 abducted Yazidis are still missing.
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The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus
Washington, DC , 31 July 2018 – So much of the political rhetoric we hear about refugees is focused not on the greater but on the lesser. Refugees are painted as security threats, economic burdens, or cultural invaders; St Ignatius would tell us instead to act with the generosity of Jesus, who gave everything.
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Myanmar: Providing Love and Learning Through Education

Myitkyina, 27 July 2018 – Roi San, a 24-year old woman, is serving as a volunteer teacher at a Catholic school in the town of Myitkyina in Myanmar’s Kachin State. She began teaching in this school two years ago after graduating from a teacher training course supported by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). She truly cares and understands the importances of investing in children for the betterment of their futures. 

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Light in the Darkness: Vigil for Immigrant Families

Washington, D.C. 26 July 2018 — As a part of the Campaign for Hospitality, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is joining Ignatian Solidarity Network in a mini-campaign entitled "A Light in the Darkness: Vigil for Immigrant Families", which is intended for both faith communities (parishes, schools, etc.) and individuals to participate in by keeping a candle lit and praying daily for immigrant families.

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Finding Redemption and Hope

Washington, D.C. 24 July 2018 —  Joy is the mother of a son who has extremely weak knees and was unable to walk for two years. Before attending the JRS Daycare in Maban, South Sudan he would scoot around on the ground to get from one place to another. Kifaya’s daughter has cerebral palsy and was not able to hold items in her hands or feed herself. The mothers were not knowledgeable of how to take care of their child’s needs and held guilt for their children’s inability to walk or interact with others. 

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Colombia: The Challenges of Venezuela’s Humanitarian Crisis
Bogotá, 23 July 2018 – An estimated fifty thousand people cross the border between Venezuela and Colombia daily. As of December 2017, according to data from Colombia’s central immigration authority (Migración Colombia), over half a million Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia. This number includes nearly 180,000 people who migrated through formal or regular channels such as special permits to stay, border migration cards, or work visas.
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Meet Omar A.: Fighting for a Better Tomorrow

Damascus 20, July 2018 — The eyes of eleven years old Omar hides many painful incidents that no one should have to endure. One night in July 2014, in Jarablos city in rural Aleppo, Omar and his father Abdullah were trying to cross the street that led to their house. Unfortunately, this street was being observed by a sniper. Abdullah was injured and died instantly. This horrifying scene happened in front of Omar’s eyes which deeply affected him. 

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Recent stories
Kenya: Psychosocial Care for Vulnerable Children

(Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya) 13 July 2018 —  Children in the context of a refugee camp, an urban setting, or any other location around the world fall into a category of individuals who are extremely vulnerable. Simply looking at their status in the world will identify that. Some vulnerable children might need additional psychosocial care to improve their quality of life if they have experienced trauma.

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Chad: To Be a Child Again

Goz Beïda, 12 July 2018 –More than half of school-aged refugee children in Chad are not enrolled in school. Djamila is 12 years old and, until very recently, was among the 56% of school-age refugee children in Chad not going to school. Like many other children her age, Djamila must work to support her family.

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Detention Adds to Trauma of Families Seeking Asylum
Washington, D.C. 6 July 2018 — In October 2015, the University of San Francisco School of Law, Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic, spent a week volunteering with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project at the South Texas Family “Residential” Center in Dilley, Texas.

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Bangladesh: Psychosocial Support for Rohingya Children

Cox’s Bazaar, 3 July 2018 – In the fall of 2017, following its mission to serve the most vulnerable of displaced persons, JRS and its partner Caritas visited Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where an estimated 900,000 Rohingya now live as refugees after fleeing escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

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Educate a Refugee: “Let Children Be Children”

Rome, 2 July 2018 — Mary was an 11 year-old girl living in Nairobi, Kenya, where she enjoyed her childhood with her two older brothers. One night in November 2013, her life was turned upside down.

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A Capitol Celebration
Washington, DC, 1 July 2018 — Please join The Capitol Friends of JRS and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA in celebrating a new school year for 200,000 refugees in JRS education programs, our shared commitment to expanding educational opportunities for refugees around the world, and the Jesuit Tradition of Education.

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Canada: U.S. Policies Pushing Asylum Seekers North
Montréal, 1 July 2018 - In December 2017, I traveled to Montreal, home of JRS Canada, with Christopher Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Kristen Lionetti, Policy Director for the Office of Justice and Ecology of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States to learn about the impact of U.S. policies on the recent influx of migrants to Canada.
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JRS/USA Continues to Support People Detained by the DHS

Washington, D.C. 29 June 2018 – Jesuit Refugee Service/USA continues to support people detained by the Department of Homeland Security in five U.S. Federal Detention Centers. This includes mothers and fathers who have been separated from their children. In these detention centers we provide comfort and accompaniment to distraught parents by offering a range of emotional and spiritual support at an extremely difficult time for these mothers and fathers.

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Regaining Courage and A Smile

Washington, D.C. 29 June 2018 – After the displacement to Damascus, Omar became more nervous and aggressive. After his father's travel, Omar started stuttering while speaking in a way that no one could understand his words.This caused a deep frustration and deterioration in Omar's school results, as many children were mocking his way of speaking. Omar worked hard to overcome it all, and has now regained his smile and confidence.

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4 Words #4theChildren

Washington 27 June 2018 - JRS/USA believes that we have a responsibility to displaced children and to respond to them with Pope Francis’ call to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate. News at our Southern border begs us to respond to this call. JRS works with displaced children around the world, and from this work we know that with these four words, children can thrive.

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Multimedia Lampedusa Concert Series Way of the Cross

JRS/USA 2017 Annual Report

Protecting the Promise of a Generation: Education for Refugees and Forcibly Displaced

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