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JRS Serves

JRS provides a broad range of services to more than 750,000 individuals, providing assistance to: refugees in camps and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum seekers in cities, and those held in detention centers. The main areas of work are in the fields of education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities, and social services.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA - the 501(c)3 organization based in Washington, DC - provides support through funding, oversight, monitoring, and evaluation to JRS projects and programming throughout the world.

JRS/USA also provides direct servies in the U.S. through our Detention Chaplaincy Program

Click the tabs below for more information about these programs.
  • Detention Chaplaincy
  • U.S. Government Grants
  • JRS Services Worldwide
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Detention Chaplaincy Program

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA provides direct service via the Detention Chaplaincy Program. The JRS/USA chaplaincy programs provide pastoral and religious assistance to meet the needs of non-citizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in five U.S. federal detention centers. JRS/USA's chaplaincy program is in El Paso, Texas; Florence, Ariz.; Batavia, N.Y. detention centers; Miami, FL Krome Service Processing Center in Miami; and Los Fresnos, Texas Port Isabel SPC.

In 2015, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA chaplaincy programs at DHS facilities coordinated 2,172 religious services, 587 religious teachings, and 1,076 spiritual support sessions totaling 117,342 unique or multiple participations by detainees. 

JRS/USA chaplaincy programs are based on a non-proselytizing model that is ecumenical in scope and practice. JRS/USA's chaplaincy services provide trained chaplains who minister to the spiritual and pastoral needs of detainees. These chaplains understand how important an individual’s faith is in the context of a detention center. They help detainees deal with the emotional and spiritual factors associated with separation from family, loss of economic stability, and pending legal decisions.

In addition to pastoral counseling, chaplains facilitate religious activities that include opportunities for worship, prayer, scripture services, and fellowship within the traditions of each person’s faith. JRS/USA's chaplains and pastoral care workers give support to those who find themselves suffering and in crisis. 

Click here to learn more about our Detention Chaplaincy Program

JRS/USA's funding through the U.S. Department of State

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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA received funds from The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) for projects in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Thailand. The grants are for programs that provide education, psychosocial services, social services, and livelyhood activities for refugees. PRM has funded JRS programs worldwide since 2005.

A detailed look at the projects funded in 2015-2016 can be found by reading or downloading this PDF. 

JRS Services Throughout the Globe

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA provides support to projects and programs throughout the globe. These services include:

Education: Education is the core JRS activity in most regions. It comprises a wide range of services involving formal and informal instruction, including pre-school, primary, secondary and third level education, special education (especially in Asia), distance education, scholarships, life-skills and vocational training, adult literacy, computer and language classes, extra tuition and revision classes, and education for peace and reconciliation. In Africa and Asia, JRS strengthens the educational system in communities by training teachers and providing them with incentives, constructing schools, providing school equipment and supporting parent-teacher associations.

Emergency Relief: A large part of the work of JRS involves the distribution of food and non-food items, such as mattresses and blankets, clothes, seeds and tools, money for transport and referrals and the provision of medical treatment. JRS also distributes tents in refugee camps, renovates buildings in post-conflict situations and helps refugees find accommodation in urban areas.

Human Rights Projection: JRS provides a number of services to protect the human rights of refugees including legal casework, including asylum cases, and legal advice. Another aspect of this work is the organisation of training and awareness seminars, which are provided to public officials, local NGOs, and refugees.

Livelihoods: Whether helping refugees integrate into their new host communities or preparing them for their return home or resettlement in a third country, JRS seeks to promote self-sufficiency among refugees. Services include helping refugees access employment and land, providing technical training and assistance, and facilitating the establishment of small businesses by making available funds, grants and loans, as well as tools and other resources. 

Pastoral and Social Services: This area of support is extremely broad. Pastoral care refers to targeted initiatives – capacity-building among catechists, youth, community leaders and small Christian communities – and to wider ministry that reaches thousands. Other forms of support include psychosocial, social and recreational services, and community development activities. The degree of JRS involvement includes offering a listening ear or therapy for mental health problems and the organisation of support groups. Landmine survivors, victims of abuse, ex-child soldiers and those who have experienced trauma are among those supported.