|"To conquer our fear we must extend the hand of friendship to people in need."|
(Washington, D.C.) September 4, 2015 — The images say it all. Overcrowded camps and cities filled with refugees. Boats holding more than they should carry over the Mediterranean waters. Families carrying children across railroad tracks in transit throughout Europe. Bodies washed ashore.
Since the current conflict in Syria began in 2011, almost four million Syrians have fled in search of peace, safety and security. As prospects for peace diminish in the region, people are struggling to find hope and are willing to do anything for the future of their families.
Jesuit Refugee Service is working within Syria, in neighboring countries, along transit routes and within Europe to provide safe spaces for refugees and assist them with food and water, clothing, bedding and medicine, and counseling and education programs.
Many of us are asking ourselves, what can we do? We can pray. We can learn. And we must act.
"To conquer our fear we must extend the hand of friendship to people in need. Together with policymakers we can learn from local initiatives of welcome," says Jean-Marie Carrière, Regional Director of JRS Europe.
Please take a moment today to urge the U.S. government to demonstrate leadership at this critical time. Only by rallying the voices of citizens can we demonstrate that we will not stand by while this crisis unfolds before our eyes. We must ensure that refugees are offered the dignity, compassion and opportunity they deserve.
Urge the U.S. to act quickly to:
Thank you for your support.
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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.
To accompany means to be a companion. We are companions of Jesus, so we wish to be companions of those with whom he preferred to be associated, the poor and the outcast. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs. JRS advocates for just and generous policies and programs for the benefit of victims of forced displacement, so that those made vulnerable by exile can receive support and protection and durable solution to their plight can be achieved.
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 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 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 45 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of nearly 760,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, more than half of whom are women. JRS services are available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.
In 2014, approximately 142,000 children, young people and adults received primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education services. JRS places the highest priority on ensuring a better future for refugees by investing heavily in education and training. Further, JRS undertakes advocacy to ensure all displaced children be provided with access to quality education. JRS services are provided to refugees regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.