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.





South Africa: Giving Up Is Not An Option

In August, JRS South Africa celebrated the graduation of 221 refugees and asylum seekers from the Arrupe Women’s Skill Centre and Pretoria Skill Centre. Read about their journey. 


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Ethiopia: Education Promotes Self-Reliance

Dollo Ado, 15 October 2018 — Kaadi Ali Ibrahim came to Ethiopia five years ago after fleeing war. He arrived with farming skillsets, and now has additiional tailoring training as part of the JRS liveihoods project in Melkadida refugee camp. 



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JRS/USA Celebrates International Day of the Girl Child
Washington, D.C., 11 October 2018 — Today is the International Day of the Girl Child, a day declared by the United Nations, to bring focus and enthusiasm to rights and opportunities for girls around the world. 
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Thailand: Refugee Graduation Ceremony and Beyond

Bangkok, 10 October 2018 - Danh received his certificate for completing the language and skill training provided by the Urban Education Project (UEP) of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Thailand. Learn more about how he plans to give back to the school and community. 


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Our Children, A Reflection from Fr. Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.

Washington 8 October 2018 - JRS/USA's Director of Mission, Fr. Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J. reflects on news at our southern border and why every immigrant child belongs to all of us. 


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Spirit of Success in South Sudan

Washington, D.C. 8 October 2018 — Maban is located in the furthest corner of the northeast of South Sudan. It is a very isolated area and the refugee camp is inaccessible at times because of armed conflict in the region. JRS has been responding to the call for education from refugees and internally displaced persons since 1992, when it first established schools in refugee camps in northern Uganda, and later expanded its work to increase access to education in four sites in what was then southern Sudan.


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JRS Partners with No Lost Generation for Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 4 October 2018 — On October 3, JRS/USA partnered with No Lost Generation student groups from Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University for an Advocacy Day that included meetings with key congressional policymakers on Capitol Hill.
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Education - The Light at the End of the Tunnell

Congo, 3 October 2018 – Jean Pierre was born to Rwandan #refugee parents in Congo. He grew up in refugee camps throughout the Great Lakes Region of Africa. JRS created an educational foundation and gave him support for his goals and aspirations.


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Education and Entrepreneurship

Kampala, 1 October 2018 – Ms. Noella Kabale, a 25-year-old refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has lived in Kampala since 2012. She has benefitted from different JRS services: English language, Fashion & Design and entrepreneurship trainings. 


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Join JRS in New York for our 38th Anniversary

Please join us for this two-part evening in New York City to celebrate the work of Jesuit Refugee Service on our 38th anniversary as we honor the incredible work of Rev. Michael Gallagher, SJ and The Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University’s School of Law. 


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Recent stories
Syria: War Cannot Destroy His Dreams

Kafroun, 28 September 2018 – Farid* has dreams of a better future and forgetting the harsh realities of his daily life. An enthusiastic 13-year-old, he loves to go to school every morning and then to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Kafroun Centre in the afternoon. 


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India: Dreams Do Come True

Goa, 27 September 2018 – Farzana is a young woman who has gained her independence through her education from the University at Rosary College in Goa from her JRS scholarship. She's proud to be a JRS scholar and hopes to return to Afghanistan to help her family and friends. 



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South Sudan: Nakio - A Refugee Mother, Wife, Teacher, and Student
Washington, D.C. 25 September 2018 – Nakio is a student at Mikese University in Yambio, South Sudan. She is currently in her third-year of schooling to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Education. Each day is a little different for her as she balances being a full-time mother, wife, teacher, and student.
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Global: Prayer for the Global Compact on Refugees
Rome, 25 September 2018 - The United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote on the Global Compact on Refugees this week. This will be the culmination of a two-year process that saw the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, engaging with states and consulting with all relevant stakeholders.
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JRS/USA Signs Global Compact Charter for Action
Washington DC, 24 September 2018 — This week, Jesuit Refugee Service and other humanitarian organizations gather together in New York for the 73rd United Nations General Assembly to achieve a common goal: to ensure all refugees have access to quality educational opportunities. JRS, along with others, have also signed a Charter for Action and will increase refugee access to quality education.
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JRS/USA Ask the U.S. to Make a Commitment for Refugee Education
Washington DC, 21 September 2018 – The new Global Compact on Refugees commits to mobilizing "more direct financial support" to minimize the time refugee children spend out of school and to meeting "the specific education needs of refugees" to overcome current obstacles to enrollment and attendance. To do this, we are calling on the U.S. to pledge their support for the Global Compact on Refugees and commit to additional funding for Education Cannot Wait.
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JRS/USA Director of Missions Helps Author New Book on Refugees
Washington DC, 20 September 2018 – Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan, SJ, Director of Mission for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and former President of Georgetown University, Washington, DC (1989 to 2001) writes a moving book highlighting the stories of immigrant children who fled Central America.
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Lebanon: Syrian Children Need More Than a Traditional Education

Lebanon, 19 September 2018 –Children need more than traditional education. The JRS Centre in Jbeil serves Syrian refugee children, including providing psychosocial support to children through Peace Education classes. All of the children at the center have been touched by war, with mortars and bombs a daily risk. Some children have experienced violence in the home, and most currently live in unsuitable or overcrowded homes. 


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19 September 2018 - Please join the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA on October 4 for a reception in Chicago, IL. The reception will be an opportunity for our friends and supporters in the Chicago area to learn more about JRS and our work around the world and to meet our our International Director, Fr. Tom Smolich, and our JRS/USA Executive Director, Joan Rosenhauer.


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Eritrea: Balancing Family and Personal Growth

Eritrea, 18 September 2018 – Aron* fled Eritrea from forced conscription into the military. To help him earn an income and reach his goals, JRS provided training so that he could become a peer counselor and provide for his family. 



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Multimedia Lampedusa Concert Series Way of the Cross



JRS/USA 2017 Annual Report




Protecting the Promise of a Generation: Education for Refugees and Forcibly Displaced




Walk a Mile in My Shoes: How to Host a Refugee Experience