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.





Europe: Yes, we can prevent refugee deaths
(Brussels) August 31, 2015 — With no alternatives, people fleeing war and oppression try to reach safety in Europe at any cost. All too often they die. Stopping such tragedies is entirely achievable. Through cooperation and good governance European states may open legal and safe channels for refugees to reach Europe. Now is the time for a European humanitarian visa plan.
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Indonesia: Afghan Education in Cisarau
(Cisarau, Indonesia) August 24, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service staff in this small town outside Jakarta have genuine concerns about the urban refugee situation in Indonesia. Their work with Afghan refugees, among others, provided an enlightening experience for visiting JRS staff.
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Europe: Civil society acts to welcome refugees
(Brussels) August 21, 2015 — As discussions continue on the political level about how to deal with increased numbers of asylum seekers in Europe, many citizens across the continent have been quick to set up local initiatives to welcome and support refugees, demonstrating that hospitality and friendship is possible even in difficult circumstances, such as in Greece, Hungary and Italy.
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Photos: Eritrean refugees paint grim realities
(Mai Aini, Ethiopia) August 17, 2015 — In Mai Aini refugee camp, Jesuit Refugee Service art classes allow young people to express their visions, fears and memories about their dangerous journeys towards freedom. The paintings are exhibited at events in the camp and used to raise awareness about the perils of onward migration.
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South Sudan: learning in emergencies
(Maban) August 11, 2015 — In South Sudan's Upper Nile state, a student is more likely to find soldiers occupying their school than teachers preparing lessons. Sixty-three percent of schools are occupied by armed forces. Even more of a rare commodity than functioning school buildings are teachers themselves.
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Join Jesuit Refugee Service in New York on Dec. 2
(Washington, D.C.) August 10, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA supporters and friends are invited to join us for the JRS 35th Anniversary Awards Dinner at the Fordham University Lincoln Center campus in New York City on Dec. 2, as we commemorate 35 years of service to refugees and the forcibly displaced.
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Kenya: refugee parents cope with autism
(Nairobi) August 7, 2015 — "In our culture, when people look at my children they believe they have been bewitched. Some people try to marginalize them. They don't understand my family," says David Bulambo, a Congolese refugee in Kenya who is the father of two autistic girls. "We often feel isolated."
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South Sudan: investing in peace
(Maban) July 29, 2015 — Education ensures younger generations gain the knowledge they need, and also instills a sense of normalcy for children and hope for their communities. This is especially true in South Sudan, where less than half of children are in school and illiteracy rates are among the highest in the world.
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Lebanon: Syrian refugee children counting on school
(Beirut) July 22, 2015 — Four hundred thousand Syrian refugee children are out of school in Lebanon. Transport costs, difficulty registering, discrimination in the Lebanese system, and the need for children to work to help pay the family bills, all combine to keep many children locked out of education.
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Thailand: helping survivors of sexual violence
(Bangkok) July 16, 2015 — As part of its Urban Refugee Project in Bangkok, Jesuit Refugee Service offers group counseling sessions for Somali and Pakistani women and unaccompanied girls. The refugee women are almost all survivors of sexual violence, and are at risk for re-victimization in their vulnerable circumstances.
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Recent stories
Syrian refugees face food cuts in Jordan, Lebanon
(Rome) July 15, 2015 — Cuts to food aid programs in the Middle East could force Syrian refugees in the Middle East to make "terrible choices," says Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Fr. Peter Balleis S.J. "The situation of the urban refugees is critical," added Fr. Bernard Hyacinth Arputhasamy S.J., Director of JRS Jordan. "Resources and services outside the refugee camps have been exhausted."
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Entrepreneurial refugee in Kenya teaches computer skills
(Nairobi) July 14, 2015 — "I was helped to get where I am so I feel also very good when others benefit from my knowledge," says Pierre Muhire, a Rwandan refugee now running a computer college in Kenya. Mr. Muhire studied information technology and computer repair on a scholarship provided by Jesuit Refugee Service.
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Spotlight on legal challenges facing asylum seekers
(Washington, D.C.) July 13, 2015 — In recent years, an increasing number of Central Americans have migrated north to the United States, reaching peak numbers in the summer of 2014. Of particular concern has been the increase in the number of unaccompanied and separated migrant children from the Northern Triangle of Central America — Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
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South Africa: shining a light in xenophobia's darkness
(Johannesburg) July 6, 2015 — If it were not for ignorance, Qamar and Ali's home and business would still be standing today. Ignorance to what these two men — and others seeking refuge within South Africa — went through led people to loot and ransack their shops. This ignorance strips us of our empathy and allows myths regarding migrants to persist.
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Chad: Darfur refugees find hope in education
(Washington, D.C.) June 29, 2015 — In Djabal refugee camp, just outside the town of Goz Beida in eastern Chad, Jesuit Refugee Service is expanding our partnership with Jesuit Commons Higher Education at the Margins and has started a new program in the camp that will eventually offer an online, university-level diploma program.
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Chad: Darfur refugees find hope in education
(Washington, D.C.) June 29, 2015 — In Djabal refugee camp, just outside the town of Goz Beida in eastern Chad, Jesuit Refugee Service is expanding our partnership with Jesuit Commons Higher Education at the Margins and has started a new program in the camp that will eventually offer an online, university-level diploma program.
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JRS and Jesuit universities identify legal challenges facing Central American asylum seekers
(Washington, D.C.) June 16, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and 13 U.S.-based Jesuit law schools announce the release of A Fair Chance for Due Process: Challenges in Legal Protection for Central American Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Migrants. This report captures efforts by Jesuit law schools to assist asylum seekers and migrants from Central America and challenges they face in delivering these services.
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Legal challenges facing Central American asylum seekers
(Washington, D.C.) June 16, 2015 — In recognition of World Refugee Day, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and 13 Jesuit law schools announce A Fair Chance for Due Process: Challenges in Legal Protection for Central American Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Migrants. The report highlights Jesuit law school efforts to assist Central Americans in need, and challenges faced in delivering these services.
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World Refugee Day: push forward, not back
(Rome) June 15, 2015 — For World Refugee Day this weekend, Jesuit Refugee Service urges you to remember that the key to change is within each of us. While governments decide to accept or reject refugees, only we have the power to truly welcome them. We must change our fixed view of refugees as ‘the other.’
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Uganda: early childhood education encourages integration
(Kampala) June 11, 2015 — Despite the importance of early education to their cognitive, social and emotional development, extreme poverty and discrimination hinders the full development of millions of children. This is especially true for refugee children. The reality is, when made accessible, early education can work wonders.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. Multimedia stories of refugees Campus & Parish Outreach The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross



Finding solutions for legal challenges facing asylum seekers




A Fair Chance for Due Process: Challenges in Legal Protection for Central American Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Migrants




2014 Annual Report




Seeking asylum




Bhutanese Refugee Education Program




Servir No. 59