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.





Jesuits to Hold Worldwide Meeting, Elect New Leader
(Rome) September 27, 2016 — The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, will hold the first plenary session of General Congregation 36 in Rome on October 3. The supreme governing body of the Jesuit order, a General Congregation has only happened 35 times since the Society was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola.
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Pope Francis: the intersection of a Jesuit education and service to refugees
(Rome) September 20, 2016 — Last Saturday, Pope Francis addressed members of the European Confederation and the World Union of Jesuit Alumni and Alumnae as a part of the three day event, European Encounters of Jesuit Alumni "Global Migration and Refugee Crisis: Time to Contemplate and Act.
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Displaced Iraqi children ask U.S. lawmakers for help
(Washington, D.C.) September 19, 2016 – Omar, an articulate, polite and outwardly jovial 15-year-old from near Mosul, Iraq, is a typical teenager in many ways. He enjoys hanging out with friends, is close to his family and hopes one-day to become a journalist. But he is missing an essential part of growing up – attending school.
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Artists in Motion takes viewers on a journey of displacement
(Nairobi) September 18, 2016 — Millions of refugees are isolated from the rest of the world and as a result their daily routine becomes mundane and their talents are often squandered. Eritrean refugees in northern Ethiopia, however, have found ways to let their talents shine — creating dozens of paintings through a Jesuit Refugee Service Fine Arts class in Mai Aini refugee camp.
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‘Walk a Mile’ in a refugee’s shoes
(Washington, D.C.). September 12, 2016 – While it is impossible to fully comprehend what it’s like to live as a refugee, the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA’s Walk a Mile in My Shoes simulation provides individuals a chance to begin to understand the frustrations, disappointments and hopes facing refugees. JRS/USA’S Giulia McPherson explains how to get involved.
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Refugees create global conversations with art
(Nairobi) September 9, 2016 — Between two mountain ranges in northern Ethiopia, dozens of young Eritrean refugees are splattered in paint. They spend their days expressing their longing for lost loved ones, traumatic memories of persecution and stories of family and friends who have taken perilous journeys across deserts and seas in symbolic artwork.
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Concert tour will benefit refugee education
(Washington, D.C.) September 6, 2016 — Five of America’s most popular musical acts are coming together for an 11-stop concert tour this fall to raise awareness of the unprecedented worldwide refugee crisis. Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees will be headlined in North America by Grammy Award-winning artists Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, and The Milk Carton Kids.
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Refugee summits must provide access to education for all displaced children
(Washington, D.C.) September 7, 2016 —The Global Campaign for Education – US, a broad-based coalition of more than 80 members, including Jesuit refugee Service/USA, dedicated to ensuring universal quality education for all children, urges the United Nations, the U.S. Government and world leaders to accelerate progress towards universal access to education for displaced children.
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JRS, Caritas respond to UN Summit Outcome Document
(Rome) September 7, 2016 — Caritas Internationalis and Jesuit Refugee Service are concerned by the gap between declarations and current policies and practices on the ground. We insist that the outcome of the summit must ensure real change to benefit migrants and refugees, ensuring their protection, safety and dignity.
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Take Action: Support Education for All
(Washington, D.C.) September 7, 2016 — As early as today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Education for All Act, bipartisan legislation building on current U.S. efforts to ensure equal access to quality education for children throughout the world, including those impacted by crisis and conflict.
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Recent stories
Musical Artists Shine Light on Refugee Crisis
(Washington, D.C.) September 5, 2016 — There are more than 65 million refugees and internally displaced people worldwide, the highest level ever recorded. This offers a challenge to all of us. Pope Francis urges us to see these refugees as more than statistics, but as persons, each with a face, a name and a story.
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Uganda: Nun’s resilience helps refugees thrive
(Kampala) September 1, 2016 — When she was a child, Sister Hellen suffered the consequences of conflict in northern Uganda and lived as a refugee throughout her childhood. Today she prepares thousands of refugees to start their lives over in Kampala, Uganda by teaching them English. This is her story.
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Stopping the Boats: A Threat to the Architecture of Protection
(Kings Cross, NSW) September 1, 2016 — The numbers of refugees from the Syrian conflict is staggering: nearly five million people have managed to escape the horror and violence of the civil war; these are the lucky ones, the refugees fortunate enough to cross international borders into neighboring countries in search of safety and protection.
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Patty Griffin: Refugees are a humanitarian — not political — issue
(Tucson, Ariz.) August 31, 2016 — Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Patty Griffin traveled to the Kino Border Initiative at the Arizona-Mexico border in August as part of a Jesuit Refugee Service/USA delegation to see first-hand what it means to accompany the most vulnerable. Ms. Griffin shared her thoughts about what it means to provide humanitarian assistance for deported migrants.
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Kenya: helping staff and refugees self-heal from trauma
(Nairobi) August 30, 2016 — Capacitar, meaning to empower in Spanish, was designed to subside suffering among populations who have undergone serious trauma, stress or compassion fatigue by helping people to manage their emotions, control their energy levels, relieve physical and emotional stress, and transform cycles of violence. 
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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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Patty Griffin: Refugees are a humanitarian issue
(Tucson, Ariz.) August 31, 2016 — Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Patty Griffin traveled to the Kino Border Initiative at the Arizona-Mexico border in August as part of a Jesuit Refugee Service/USA delegation to see first-hand what it means to accompany the most vulnerable. Ms. Griffin shared her thoughts about what it means to provide humanitarian assistance for deported migrants.
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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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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



Musical Artists Shine Light on Refugee Crisis




Artists in Motion




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