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.





Jordan: sharing pain and success among different refugee communities
(Amman) October 30, 2014 —A refugee from Syria now living in Jordan shares his story. "It was the summer of 2011; my schoolmates and I were ordinary students who were studying for exams and just looking forward to enjoying our summer vacation. It was about to be my last Syrian summer."
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Prayers for the Departed
(Washington, D.C.) October 29, 2014 — Halloween brings opportunities—and not only for retail business. While we see from our stores, our schools, and our neighbors’ lawns opportunities to contribute to the $6 billion U.S. retail business, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA presents another opportunity at this time of year—to offer prayers for our deceased family and friends.
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Governments urged to protect Syrian refugees and civilians
(Rome) October 28, 2014 – Foreign ministers from 20 countries and senior officials from 10 international organizations are meeting in Berlin today to discuss options for managing what risks becoming a protracted refugee crisis, with millions of displaced persons living in Syria and neighboring countries for years to come, even after an eventual end of the conflict.
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U.S. urged to offer 'compassionate and sustainable' response to humanitarian crisis in Central America
(Washington, D.C.) October 22, 2014 — The Jesuit Conference of the United States, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and more than 50 other organizations have written to Congressional leaders urging the United States to respond in a compassionate and sustainable manner to the humanitarian crisis forcing children and families to flee from their homes.
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Emergencies and new conflicts leave refugees hungry
(Rome) October 16, 2014 — "Food saves lives. It helps us be productive citizens, and is essential to the development of our children," said Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Peter Balleis S.J. highlighting World Food Day today. "That is why we urgently need ... to create more opportunities for the forcibly displaced to build sustainable livelihoods."
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Examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to the conflict in Syria
(Aleppo, Syria) October 15, 2014 — During the anti-apartheid years in South Africa, the phrase "strike a woman and you strike a rock" was popularized by the growing involvement of women in the struggle. In Syria, the role of women has taken on a less aggressive, but no less significant role.
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Colombia: heed the victims of conflict
(Bogota) October 14, 2014 — In response to ongoing peace talks in Colombia, Jesuit Refugee Service urges the negotiating parties to attend the needs of those affected by the conflict. JRS calls for assistance for victims, reparations, solutions to the displacement and preventative measures. JRS urges receiving states to welcome refugees and offer them protection, not forcibly return them to Colombia.
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Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
(Beirut) October 8, 2014 — The humanitarian crisis in two of the three principle cities in Syria has deteriorated dramatically in the last two months, according to Jesuit Refugee Service teams on the ground. "The situation in Damascus is very unpredictable at the moment, especially in the areas where we have our centers. We do our best to assist those in need, but it is a very precarious situation," said Nawras Sammour S.J., Regional Director of JRS Middle East and North Africa.
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Europe: Protection seekers stranded in Sicily
(Brussels) October 7, 2014 — Interviews conducted with migrants stranded in southern Italy expose the failure of European reception systems to uphold principles of human dignity, hospitality and fairness, according to the findings of a new report by Jesuit Refugee Service. "My bones hurt. I still have back pains from sleeping on the street. I slept on cardboard with no blanket or sheets," says Kofi, whose wife and two children drowned as they attempted to join him in Europe.
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Afghanistan: Hope remains alive for safe return of Jesuit Refugee Service director
(Delhi) October 4, 2014 — October 2 marked four long months since Alexis Prem Kumar was abducted by a group of armed men from a JRS-supported school in Sohadat. Committed to the children of Afghanistan, JRS has resumed all its formal and non-formal education programs.
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Recent stories
Video: Counseling services help refugees begin to heal
(Washington, D.C.) October 6, 2014 — One of the objectives of the Jesuit Refugee Service programs in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya is to improve the psychological well-being of and the reduction of stress-related health problems of refugees.
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Pope Francis on Migrants and Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) October 3, 2014 — "Let us be their neighbors, share their fears and uncertainty about the future, and take concrete steps to reduce their suffering," Pope Francis said on World Refugee Day this year. Several additional compelling quotes from the Pope are included in the toolkit, “Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children,” built by our friends at the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
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Safe passage into Europe needed for refugees
(Brussels, Rome) October 2, 2014 – A year after the tragic death of nearly 400 forced migrants off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, tens of thousands of lives have been saved. The details of how close the victims were to the coast spurred the Italian government to act. Proof, if any was needed, of how much can be done when states priories life above border security.
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Praying with Refugees in Belgium
(Bruges) October 1, 2014 — Detention centers are places where storms frequently erupt, especially in the spirits of anxious, angry and stressed detainees. They feel overwhelmed, as if drowning. Yet in the middle of these dark storms, suddenly something can change.
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Graduates at Kakuma refugee camp celebrate hope
(Kakuma, Kenya) September 29, 2014 — A busy road in Kakuma refugee camp comes alive with shops selling vivacious Tanzanian fabrics, Ethiopian cafes serving espresso shots, families collecting remittances at Somali banks and a micro-version of a university campus offering online higher education to talented refugees.
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Jordan: living in the shadow of Syria's crisis
(Amman) September 25, 2014 — While Syrian refugees are entitled to food vouchers provided by the World Food Programme, refugees of other nationalities in Jordan struggle to rattle together enough money to meet their daily nutritional needs, adding stress to communities whose living conditions are already dire.
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Syria: protection of civilians must be world's priority
(London) September 25, 2014 — Any further intervention in the Middle East must address the suffering of Syrian civilians, a global coalition of 39 leading human rights and humanitarian organizations says. Coinciding with the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the #WithSyria coalition urges world leaders, whoever they support in the conflict, to make clear that they are on the side of civilians.
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Pope Francis urges ‘globalization of charity and cooperation’ to aid migrants and refugees
(Vatican) September 23, 2014 — “Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches,” writes Pope Francis ahead of January’s World Day of Refugees and Migrants.
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USA: Ban Landmine Use Everywhere, Korea Included
(Washington D.C.) September 23, 2014 — Today’s announcement by the United States that it will not use antipersonnel landmines anywhere in the world except on the Korean Peninsula is a positive step, but the geographic exception must be overcome if the U.S. is to ever join the Mine Ban Treaty.
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Refugee graduates in Kenya & Malawi work, study and serve their communities
(Rome) September 22, 2014 — For the second consecutive year, refugee students in camps in Kenya and Malawi will graduate from an online Liberal Arts Diploma program managed by Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education on the Margins.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross



Serving refugees in the Horn of Africa




Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children




Smart responses to increased migration from Central America




Servir No. 57




Annual Report 2013




Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico




Refugee camp simulation raises awareness