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.





Safe passage into Europe needed for refugees
(Brussels, Rome) October 2, 2014 – A year after the tragic death of nearly 400 forced migrants off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, tens of thousands of lives have been saved. The details of how close the victims were to the coast spurred the Italian government to act. Proof, if any was needed, of how much can be done when states priories life above border security.
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Praying with Refugees in Belgium
(Bruges) October 1, 2014 — Detention centers are places where storms frequently erupt, especially in the spirits of anxious, angry and stressed detainees. They feel overwhelmed, as if drowning. Yet in the middle of these dark storms, suddenly something can change.
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Graduates at Kakuma refugee camp celebrate hope
(Kakuma, Kenya) September 29, 2014 — A busy road in Kakuma refugee camp comes alive with shops selling vivacious Tanzanian fabrics, Ethiopian cafes serving espresso shots, families collecting remittances at Somali banks and a micro-version of a university campus offering online higher education to talented refugees.
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Jordan: living in the shadow of Syria's crisis
(Amman) September 25, 2014 — While Syrian refugees are entitled to food vouchers provided by the World Food Programme, refugees of other nationalities in Jordan struggle to rattle together enough money to meet their daily nutritional needs, adding stress to communities whose living conditions are already dire.
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Syria: protection of civilians must be world's priority
(London) September 25, 2014 — Any further intervention in the Middle East must address the suffering of Syrian civilians, a global coalition of 39 leading human rights and humanitarian organizations says. Coinciding with the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the #WithSyria coalition urges world leaders, whoever they support in the conflict, to make clear that they are on the side of civilians.
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Pope Francis urges ‘globalization of charity and cooperation’ to aid migrants and refugees
(Vatican) September 23, 2014 — “Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches,” writes Pope Francis ahead of January’s World Day of Refugees and Migrants.
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USA: Ban Landmine Use Everywhere, Korea Included
(Washington D.C.) September 23, 2014 — Today’s announcement by the United States that it will not use antipersonnel landmines anywhere in the world except on the Korean Peninsula is a positive step, but the geographic exception must be overcome if the U.S. is to ever join the Mine Ban Treaty.
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Refugee graduates in Kenya & Malawi work, study and serve their communities
(Rome) September 22, 2014 — For the second consecutive year, refugee students in camps in Kenya and Malawi will graduate from an online Liberal Arts Diploma program managed by Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education on the Margins.
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Chad: education for refugee girls from Sudan, between obstacles and hope
(N’Djamena) September 11, 2014 — Walking long distances to fetch water in the blistering desert heat of eastern Chad is not to be underestimated. It is one of the most arduous of tasks facing Sudanese women living in refugee camps in eastern Chad, a place where socio-cultural traditions tend to limit their role strictly to the domestic sphere: household chores, caring for large families and fetching water.
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Contributing to the healing of the world
(Washington D.C.) September 9, 2014 – There is something both inspiring and heartrending in the struggles of refugees. Several years ago, on an advocacy visit to the programs of Jesuit Refugee Service Ecuador, I interviewed a Colombian refugee, a beautiful young woman who had suffered unspeakable crimes at the hands of paramilitaries and human traffickers.
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Recent stories
National Religious Leaders to President Obama: Don’t Trade Kids' Lives in Immigration Action
(Washington, D.C.) September 4, 2014 — Jesuit Fr Timothy Kesicki, President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States and a long-time board member of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, joined 39 other national religious leaders in delivery of a succinct, one-sentence message to President Barack Obama urging him not to compromise the lives of children fleeing violence in Central America as the Administration considers its next steps on immigration.
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In Memoriam: Fr. Michael A. Evans S.J.
(Washington, D.C.) September 3, 2014 — Former Jesuit Refugee Service/USA National Director Fr. Michael Evans S.J. passed away Monday. Fr. Evans was regional director of Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa in Nairobi from 1991 to 1996, and was the national director of JRS/USA from 2010 to 2012.
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Serving refugees in the Horn of Africa
(Washington, D.C.) September 2, 2014 — The UN Refugee Agency noted that during 2013 the “population of concern” in Ethiopia rose from about 379,000 to 436,000. Most of these refugees arrived at Dollo Ado, a dry and dusty region in the desert southeast near the border with Somalia and Kenya.
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Praying with Refugees in North Kivu
(Masisi, Democratic Republic of the Congo) September 1, 2014 — How can we challenge ourselves to pray in a way that gives room to the refugees and displaced persons in our communities? There is a call for change to welcome the displaced in our world. What are my personal commitments towards that? How can I, as a member of a host community, express solidarity for and show hospitality to others?
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World Day of Migrants and Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) August 31, 2014 — The Catholic Church in Latin America celebrates the 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees next Sunday, and Pope Francis released a message noting the hopes of and difficulties faced by people on the move in our global society. “Solidarity, acceptance, and signs of fraternity and understanding exist side by side with rejection, discrimination, trafficking and exploitation, suffering and death.”
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Ethiopia now home to largest number of refugees in Africa
(Washington, D.C.) August 25, 2014 — The UN refugee agency reported last week that Ethiopia is now the largest host country of refugees in Africa, surpassing Kenya. At the end of July, Ethiopia was home to more than 629,000 refugees, while neighboring Kenya hosts more than 575,000.
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South Sudan: innocence suffers in conflict
(Maban, South Sudan) August 13, 2014 — Alvar and I, the two new Jesuit members of the Jesuit Refugee Service team here, arrived in Maban (Upper Nile state) almost a month ago. More than 127,000 refugees from Sudan came here in late 2011 — early 2012, and are living in four very large camps in a precarious situation.
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JRS Australia urges regional response to forced migration
(Kings Cross, Australia) August 12, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service says the need for cross-border and regional collaboration on refugees has never been greater, and Australia has the potential to play a leading role in the development of a regional response to forced migration in the Asia-Pacific region.
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Dem. Republic of Congo: out of sight, out of mind
(Masisi) August 10, 2014 – In this poignant essay, Inés Oleaga shows how accompanying forcibly displaced people can be a very practical way of protecting them and of showing them that they have not been forgotten by all, despite evidence to the contrary.
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Spotlight on famine crisis in South Sudan
(Washington, D.C.) August 6, 2014 — Whether the severe humanitarian food crisis in South Sudan is a "phase four humanitarian emergency" or a "phase five famine" does not matter much to the 1.6 million South Sudanese who have been displaced by the political and ethnic firestorm that has torn the world's newest country apart since last December.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross



Serving refugees in the Horn of Africa




Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children




Smart responses to increased migration from Central America




Servir No. 57




Annual Report 2013




Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico




Refugee camp simulation raises awareness