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.

Ethiopia: photographs from Mai Aini refugee camp
(Addis Ababa) March 2, 2015 — More than 18,000 refugees from Eritrea live in the Mai Aini refugee camp in northern Ethiopia. Jesuit Refugee Service provides counseling and recreation services to help the residents deal with the trauma of both their flight to safety and camp life.
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South Sudan: strangers in our own land
(Nairobi) February 24, 2015 – As South Sudanese leaders begin talks in Addis Ababa to discuss the establishment of a power-sharing agreement, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) urges them, on World Social Justice Day today, to prioritise the immediate preservation of human life and dignity in the country.
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Jesuit shelter provides stability for homeless Haitian boys
(Dajabón, Dominican Republic) February 23, 2015 — There were few street children living here before Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, but the phenomenon has grown since. They know they must finish school, but none of them can attend one in the Dominican Republic. Their immediate desires are simple: playing soccer, having a quiet place to live, and going to school.
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Afghanistan: Indian Jesuit released after eight months in captivity
(Rome.) February 22, 2015 — After more than eight months in captivity, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is delighted by the announcement of the release of Fr Alexis Prem Kumar. JRS is immensely grateful to the Indian government for its role in achieving his release.
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Praying with refugees: education as hope
(Mweso, DRC) February 22, 2015 – Moambi's white blouse gleams bright in the morning sun of Kashuga. She beams with pride in her new school uniform – she gets to attend high school after two years of staying at home. Maombi is one of the more than 2.7 million internally displaced persons living in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Ethiopia: photographs from the refugee community center
(Addis Ababa) February 21, 2015 — The Jesuit Refugee Service refugee community center here — the only one of its kind in the city — offers language courses, library facilities, day-care services, computer classes and psychosocial support. The on-site emergency needs program provides financial support and counseling services for newly arrived refugees.
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Relentless & Resilient: Haiti–Dominican Republic border
(Tiroli, Haiti) February 17, 2015 — A reflection on a recent visit to the border communities of Los Cacaos and Tiroli in Haiti — where Jesuit Refugee Service/USA supports an initiative of the Dominican Sisters of Monteils. Haitians on the border, despite the poverty-ridden instability they face, are resilient and relentless.
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Australia: Disturbing report on children in detention presents opportunity for change
(Kings Cross, NSW) February 16, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service Australia says a report on asylum-seeking children in detention highlights the extreme failure of the government’s refugee and asylum policy, and presents an opportunity for long-overdue change.
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Red Hand Day: education provides children an alternative to joining armed groups
(Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo) February 12, 2015 — International Red Hand Day aims to raise awareness of the plight of child soldiers all around the world. While Jesuit Refugee Service commends the steps taken by the Congolese government to end the recruitment of child soldiers, more steps need to be taken to provide educational and socio-economic alternatives for displaced children in camps.
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SAFE Act undermines refugee, migrant protections
(Washington, D.C.) February 11, 2015 — In a letter to Congress, the Jesuits of the United States declared their opposition to anti-immigrant amendments in the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. In their letter, the Jesuits note “Jesuit organizations throughout our country have long advocated for comprehensive, humane, and much needed solutions to our current broken immigration system.”
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Recent stories
Furthering justice with Cristo Rey in Georgia, Alabama
(Washington, D.C.) February 10, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Outreach Coordinator Mary Doan recently visited high schools in Georgia and Alabama. She reflects on the experience of discussing the rights of refugees and the forcibly displaced while visiting areas where the civil rights movement began.
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Syria: rocket attacks target civilians in Aleppo, Damascus
(Rome) February 5, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service is extremely alarmed by the escalation in attacks on Aleppo and Damascus in the last few days. These indiscriminate attacks are targeting densely populated civilian areas. The level of violence in Damascus has reached unprecedented levels. The international community must take urgent action to protect the lives of civilian populations.
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Take Action: urge Senate to protect immigrant families
(Washington, D.C.) February 4, 2015 — Two weeks ago, many Members of the House of Representatives voted to compromise the safety, security, and dignity of our undocumented brothers and sisters by undoing the important steps the Administration has taken to address immigration reform
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South Sudan Catholic Bishops: “take risks for peace”
(Juba, South Sudan) February 2, 2015 — The Catholic Bishops of South Sudan released a statement Friday asking the leaders of the country to “Have the courage to go deeper, leave aside common assumptions, think outside the political box, make unthinkable concessions, and take risks to bring peace.”
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Bicycles aid counselors at Kakuma refugee camp
(Washington, D.C.) February 1, 2015 — Kakuma refugee camp hosts more than 170,000 refugees from about 12 African countries. Jesuit Refugee Service has provided services in Kakuma since 1994, and is currently the only organization in the camp that provides psychosocial support. A grant from the Loyola Foundation makes the service more manageable.
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Broken immigration system breaks hearts
(Nogales, Mexico) January 28, 2015 — “It was the perfect life.” This simple declarative sentence is arguably the most heartbreaking statement I have heard in nearly five years with Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. I heard it from a woman sheltering at the Kino Border Initiative here, a refuge for recently deported migrants vulnerable to exploitation.
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USA: Finding clarity among detained migrants
(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2015 — A recent visit to the Florence Federal Detention Center in Arizona — where Jesuit Refugee Service/USA provides chaplaincy services to detainees who are held in Department of Homeland Security facilities — clarified the importance of the services. Detainees, many who are still teenagers and facing painful hardships, find solace in the program.
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Catholic leaders affirm immigration reform is a pro-life issue
(Washington, D.C.) January 22, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the U.S. Jesuit Conference, the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Kino Border Initiative join Catholic leaders nationwide in a statement organized by Faith in Public Life calling on Congress to enact humane immigration reform. Immigration is "another pro-life issue," Cardinal Séan O’Malley reminds us.
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Bleak refugee camp life leads children to join armed groups
(Mweso) January 20, 2015 — "I joined twice, because I had nothing to do," explains Pierre, a 17-year-old former child solider in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "The first time was in 2006. The recruiters in the camp promised me food, a job, and a military career. It didn't take much to get me to go into the bush and try my luck."
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Kenya: protection needs increase with refugee influx
(Kakuma, Kenya) January 15, 2015 — Without the opportunity to integrate into Kenyan society due to a strict encampment policy and with low chances of resettlement, most refugees in Kenya spend years living in refugee camps. While they are provided a physical space free from war, camps are not necessarily free from human rights abuses, particularly sexual and gender-based violence.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. Multimedia stories of refugees The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross

Servir No. 58

Syria cries for peace

Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children

Smart responses to increased migration from Central America

Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico