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.

Video: Recreational activities provide hope for young refugees in Ethiopia
(Addis Ababa) March 31, 2015 — Mai Aini refugee camp is located in north central Ethiopia. The camp is home to about 18,500 refugees from neighboring Eritrea. Many of the camps residents are young. While they spend a few hours a day in school, there are still many hours of the day where they are confronted with the never-ending tedium of camp life.
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South Sudan: overcoming the adversity of war, investing in stronger communities
(Nairobi) March 30, 2015 — Amidst the chaos of war in South Sudan, suffering transcends borders, ethnic differences and age. Children are more severely affected, some growing up never having a secure home, others losing their parents and left to fend for themselves. Widows, unaccompanied minors, the elderly, and persons with disabilities all face the brunt of fighting and are at higher risk exploitation and trauma.
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Take Action: Urge the U.S. to protect religious minorities
(Washington, D.C.) March 27, 2015 — The Protecting Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS Act of 2015 seeks to enhance the protection of refugees from Iraq and Syria by allowing certain persecuted nationals or residents of Iraq or Syria to apply directly to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and by streamlining refugee processing.
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Praying with refugees in the Middle East: faith in action
(Beirut) March 26, 2015 – At a time of increasing extremism, people drift apart. Consumed by war and subjugated by fear, it is difficult to hold onto hope. As the specter of violence and terror has crept into all of our homes; we must make a great effort not to give in to despair.
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Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
(Beirut) March 23, 2015 — We hoped that those who are directly involved in the war at a regional and international level would find a way to end hostilities. We pleaded with them to stop bombarding civilians and humanitarian workers. We urged them to find a way to generate the political will to end the conflict through a negotiated solution. It seems our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
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Kenya: 'No tragedy can kill hope'
(Kakuma) March 17, 2015 – "No tragedy can kill hope. They have taken our homes, but not our future. No matter how bad their past has been, everyone has the right to a future!" said Sylvain Ruhamya Canga in his valedictorian speech at the commencement ceremony of the online higher education program implemented by Jesuit Refugee Service.
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Jesuit Refugee Service, Jesuit law schools partner to address challenges faced by child migrants
(Washington, D.C.) March 14, 2015 — As institutions rooted in the Catholic tradition of welcoming the stranger, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Jesuit law schools in the U.S. are coming together to identify and address the challenges presented by the recent influx of Central American child migrants and migrant families. The partnership seeks to advance the legal, social and cultural protection of these migrants and others seeking refuge in the United States.
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Promoting education in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(Masisi) March 10, 2015 – "To me education is about dignity. It's about giving children – who have nothing – a way to engage in the society around them and do something with their lives besides contribute to the violence that surrounds them," says Sr Esperance Hamuli, Education Coordinator with Jesuit Refugee Service here.
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Ethiopia: photographs from Mai Aini refugee camp
(Addis Ababa) March 2, 2015 — More than 18,000 refugees from Eritrea live in the Mai Aini refugee camp in northern Ethiopia. Jesuit Refugee Service provides counseling and recreation services to help the residents deal with the trauma of both their flight to safety and camp life.
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South Sudan: strangers in our own land
(Nairobi) February 24, 2015 – As South Sudanese leaders begin talks in Addis Ababa to discuss the establishment of a power-sharing agreement, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) urges them, on World Social Justice Day today, to prioritise the immediate preservation of human life and dignity in the country.
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Recent stories
Jesuit shelter provides stability for homeless Haitian boys
(Dajabón, Dominican Republic) February 23, 2015 — There were few street children living here before Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, but the phenomenon has grown since. They know they must finish school, but none of them can attend one in the Dominican Republic. Their immediate desires are simple: playing soccer, having a quiet place to live, and going to school.
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Afghanistan: Indian Jesuit released after eight months in captivity
(Rome.) February 22, 2015 — After more than eight months in captivity, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is delighted by the announcement of the release of Fr Alexis Prem Kumar. JRS is immensely grateful to the Indian government for its role in achieving his release.
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Praying with refugees: education as hope
(Mweso, DRC) February 22, 2015 – Moambi's white blouse gleams bright in the morning sun of Kashuga. She beams with pride in her new school uniform – she gets to attend high school after two years of staying at home. Maombi is one of the more than 2.7 million internally displaced persons living in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Ethiopia: photographs from the refugee community center
(Addis Ababa) February 21, 2015 — The Jesuit Refugee Service refugee community center here — the only one of its kind in the city — offers language courses, library facilities, day-care services, computer classes and psychosocial support. The on-site emergency needs program provides financial support and counseling services for newly arrived refugees.
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Relentless & Resilient: Haiti–Dominican Republic border
(Tiroli, Haiti) February 17, 2015 — A reflection on a recent visit to the border communities of Los Cacaos and Tiroli in Haiti — where Jesuit Refugee Service/USA supports an initiative of the Dominican Sisters of Monteils. Haitians on the border, despite the poverty-ridden instability they face, are resilient and relentless.
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Australia: Disturbing report on children in detention presents opportunity for change
(Kings Cross, NSW) February 16, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service Australia says a report on asylum-seeking children in detention highlights the extreme failure of the government’s refugee and asylum policy, and presents an opportunity for long-overdue change.
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Red Hand Day: education provides children an alternative to joining armed groups
(Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo) February 12, 2015 — International Red Hand Day aims to raise awareness of the plight of child soldiers all around the world. While Jesuit Refugee Service commends the steps taken by the Congolese government to end the recruitment of child soldiers, more steps need to be taken to provide educational and socio-economic alternatives for displaced children in camps.
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SAFE Act undermines refugee, migrant protections
(Washington, D.C.) February 11, 2015 — In a letter to Congress, the Jesuits of the United States declared their opposition to anti-immigrant amendments in the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. In their letter, the Jesuits note “Jesuit organizations throughout our country have long advocated for comprehensive, humane, and much needed solutions to our current broken immigration system.”
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Furthering justice with Cristo Rey in Georgia, Alabama
(Washington, D.C.) February 10, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Outreach Coordinator Mary Doan recently visited high schools in Georgia and Alabama. She reflects on the experience of discussing the rights of refugees and the forcibly displaced while visiting areas where the civil rights movement began.
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Syria: rocket attacks target civilians in Aleppo, Damascus
(Rome) February 5, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service is extremely alarmed by the escalation in attacks on Aleppo and Damascus in the last few days. These indiscriminate attacks are targeting densely populated civilian areas. The level of violence in Damascus has reached unprecedented levels. The international community must take urgent action to protect the lives of civilian populations.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. Multimedia stories of refugees The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross

Servir No. 58

Syria cries for peace

Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children

Smart responses to increased migration from Central America

Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico