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.





‘People die in the desert in a quest to cut my grass’
(Nogales, Sonora, Mexico) May 30, 2016 — We visited the Kino Border Initiative women’s shelter in Nogales. The shelter is on the top floor of a building that contains what is called “condos,” but these structures are very different from what an American considers a condo, as each unit may house up to seven women with their children.
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Chad: refugee from Darfur shares her story
(Goz Amir, Chad) May 27, 2016 — Garsila is a large town in Darfur, Sudan, where we used to live in a beautiful town house with many rooms. We were quite close with our next-door neighbors, our relationship very cordial. We'd invite them whenever we had get-togethers, and I was especially close with the wife. Then the war started, and I was hit with a terrifying surprise.
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JRS Welcomes 'Education Cannot Wait' Fund
(Washington, D.C. and Rome) May 24, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service is gratified the international community made a commitment to education Monday at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. The Education Cannot Wait fund follows on the heels of the JRS Global Education Initiative launched last December.
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‘Through the looking glass’ at Kino Border Initiative
(Nogales, Sonora, Mexico) May 22, 2016 – Members of St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, N.C. traveled to the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico in May to see first-hand what it means to accompany the most vulnerable. The following is the first of a three-part reflection of the trip written by St. Peter’s parishioner Bob Macpherson.
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Take Action: United States Must Make Education for Refugees a Priority
(Washington, D.C.) May 20, 2016 — One in four of the world’s school-aged children now live in countries affected by crisis. Of these children, 75 million have had their education disrupted or are out of school entirely. You can help change that by writing to your Senators and Representatives.
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Education is a Life Saving Intervention for Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) May 19, 2016 — In 'Providing Hope, Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies & Protracted Crises,' Jesuit Refugee Service confirms that education is a life-saving intervention for children and adolescents who are forcibly displaced from their homes. JRS organizes educational and recreational activities to heal trauma, promote human dignity, and build skills. 
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Kenya: JRS, Bishops urge mercy for refugees
(Nairobi) May 18, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service stands in solidarity with the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops in their call for a more compassionate response to the country's refugee community. Guided by the principles of Catholic social teachings on migrants, JRS and the Bishops emphasize that Kenya's regulation of borders and control of immigration, particularly forced migration, must be governed by concern for all people, mercy, and justice.
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Kenya urged to reconsider plans to close refugee camps
(Nairobi) May 10, 2016 —  Jesuit Refugee Service and 10 other organizations today note the contributions that Kenya has made to refugees over the years, but strongly urge a reconsideration of the move to disband the Department of Refugee Affairs and close camps which are home to hundreds of thousands of people. 
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Albert’s story: ‘They see us only as refugees’
(Dzaleka, Malawi) May 8, 2016 – My name is Albert, and I am 24 years old. In 2012, I fled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to the Dzaleka camp, Malawi, where I live now. Refugees from all different parts of Africa come here escaping wars, poverty, persecution. Today I am a refugee, but my life was very different before.
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Young refugees discuss painful past, bright future
(Washington, D.C.) March 10, 2016 – This article was updated on May 6 to include a video featuring participants at the event.  Although 25 bright young minds traveled to the District of Colombia from across the U.S. recently for a three-day conference, their journey actually began years earlier and far away. While their stories vary on how they came to the United States, they share a common bond of tragedy, struggle, hope and renewal in their new homeland.
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Recent stories
JRS resumes activities in Aleppo, Syria
(Aleppo, Syria) May 5, 2016 – Jesuit Refugee Service has resumed relief and humanitarian activities in Aleppo, Syria after a two-day suspension due to heavy bombing. A 48-hour truce has helped in the cessation of hostilities and improved the security situation in the area. JRS operations in the city include daily food distribution, and educational and counseling services.
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JRS Europe: EU-Turkey deal is 'risking lives'
(Brussels) May 5, 2016 – “The EU-Turkey deal represents a seismic shift in the European Union’s policy towards forced migrants and its international protection obligations,” concludes the extensive policy analysis of the deal by Jesuit Refugee Service Europe. The analysis – made available to policymakers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders – identifies several human rights concerns.
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World must open hearts, ears to Syria crisis
(Washington, D.C.) May 4, 2016 – Fr. Cedric Prakash S.J. has witnessed a lifetime’s worth of suffering in only a few months of working in the Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa. Yet he remains an “incorrigible optimist” that conditions in the region — and the circumstances that created them — can and will improve.
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JRS offers hope through special needs education
(Kakuma, Kenya) May 3, 2016 – "Even though I cannot see, I know more than many of you who can see, and that is what is important for me,” said Rhoda Atong Majok, a blind South Sudanese refugee who is among 37 children at Kenya’s Kakuma camp to attend primary school through the help of a JRS special needs scholarship.
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In Profile: Jesuit recalls early days of JRS in U.S.
(Washington, D.C.) May 1, 2016 – When Fr. Frank Moan S.J., got the green light to start a U.S. branch of Jesuit Refugee Service in 1982, he had few resources or support. But thanks to his initial vision and leadership, JRS/USA has blossomed into a thriving organization that today serves hundreds of thousands of people in more 45 countries.
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U.S. must provide legal representation to minors
(Washington, D.C.) April 29, 2016 — When young asylum seekers flee extreme violence to seek safety in the United States, they often find themselves in immigration court without a lawyer. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and 176 other organizations today urged the United States Attorney General to halt the practice of pursing deportation hearings against minors who have no legal representation.
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Education for All Act provides security, instills self-reliance
(Washington, D.C.) April 26, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service and more than 45 other organizations sent a joint letter to Congress today urging the House to support the Education for All Act, a bipartisan bill seeking to ensure that children around the world have access to a quality basic education.
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Sri Lanka: online education helps youth overcome obstacles and focus on brighter futures
(Washington, D.C.) April 26, 2016 — While Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war ended seven years ago, educational opportunities remain a lingering and devastating casualty. But, a Jesuit Refugee Service program in the island nation’s war-torn north provides youth in the region greater access to quality tertiary level education.
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Global: faith leaders urge Cameron and Obama to help Syrian refugees
(Rome) April 22, 2016 – President Obama is in London for talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron regarding the upcoming referendum to decide Britain's membership in the EU. They will also discuss the fight to oust the Islamic State. In a letter, 28 faith-based leaders call the two leaders to consider Syria in these talks.
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Uganda: integration opportunities rebuild lives
(Kampala) April 18, 2016 — Meet two refugees who have launched their own businesses in Uganda with assistance from Jesuit Refugee Service. JRS helps refugees in Kampala become self-sufficient by offering English language courses and vocational training courses in business management, fashion and design, hairdressing, carpentry, arts and crafts, and catering. 
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. The Refugee Voice newsletter Multimedia stories of refugees Any Refugee: Cards of Hope Campus & Parish Outreach Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading Way of the Cross



Providing Hope, Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies & Protracted Crises




Servir No. 61




I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me




Putting Mercy in Motion




Pope Francis Address to JRS