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.





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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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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Recent stories
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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Media advisory: World Refugee Day 2016
(Rome) June 15, 2016 – This World Refugee Day (June 20), Jesuit Refugee Service calls upon us to provide refugees with a safe place to stay and with opportunities to grow and contribute to society. To truly protect means keeping people safe from all evils, including poverty, isolation, exploitation, misconception and neglect. For this reason, this year JRS is using the theme, Open minds, unlock potential.
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Photos: Emmylou Harris in Ethiopia
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) June 12, 2016 — “I believe passionately in the work Jesuit Refugee Service is doing around the world to help people who are just searching for a decent, better life,” said singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris last week during a visit to Jesuit Refugee Service projects in Ethiopia. Ms. Harris joined a JRS delegation to learn more about issues affecting refugees, particularly the need for education.
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Photos: Emmylou Harris tours JRS projects in Ethiopia
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) June 12, 2016 — “I believe passionately in the work Jesuit Refugee Service is doing around the world to help people who are just searching for a decent, better life,” said singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris last week during a visit to Jesuit Refugee Service projects in Ethiopia. Ms. Harris joined a JRS delegation to learn more about issues affecting refugees, particularly the need for education.
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Restrictive EU migration policies force desperate people to take deadly routes
(Brussels) June 8, 2016 – While interior ministers meet tomorrow to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration.
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Migrants share meals, smiles at Kino Border Initiative
(Nogales, Sonora, Mexico) June 5, 2016 — As you stand in the Kino Border Initiative dining room, the first thing that strikes you is size. Yet despite the limited space – the kitchen and dining area is only a 30-foot by 30-foot – a group of nuns with a dedicated lay staff and volunteers feed about 100 people twice a day.
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Australia: de-identifying asylum seekers isn't always about protection
(Sydney) June 2, 2016 – In Australia, conversation about people who seek asylum often feels disconnected from the people – the real flesh and blood people – whose lives are most affected.The reasons for this are complicated and contested.
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Europe: safe and humane channels needed
(Brussels) June 1, 2016 – According to the UN refugee agency at least 880 forced migrants have perished in a series of shipwrecks on the central Mediterranean over the last week. JRS unequivocally calls upon national and supranational policymakers to use all the means at their disposal to create safe and humane passages for people in need of protection.
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‘People die in the desert in a quest to cut my grass’
(Nogales, Sonora, Mexico) May 30, 2016 — We visited the Kino Border Initiative women’s shelter in Nogales. The shelter is on the top floor of a building that contains what is called “condos,” but these structures are very different from what an American considers a condo, as each unit may house up to seven women with their children.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. The Refugee Voice newsletter Multimedia stories of refugees Any Refugee: Cards of Hope Campus & Parish Outreach Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading Way of the Cross



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