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.





NGOs urge action on global education
(Washington, D.C.) December 1, 2016 — The Global Campaign for Education-US is highlighting the critical role that education plays in U.S. foreign policy efforts. Members of the international development, humanitarian and education communities make the case for the power of education and encourage its inclusion in the incoming administration’s and Congressional global development priorities.
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Chad: Promoting girls education through theater
(Iriba, Chad) November 29, 2016 — “Our society thinks that daughters are only for reproduction, for taking care of the children at home and for looking after the household. This view demotes women, their image and their role in society” says Nafisa, a librarian at the Jesuit Refugee Service Youth Center in Amnabak camp.
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‘Shall we take our refugees off their crosses?’
(Washington, D.C.) November 29, 2016 – As you can imagine, for a small organization like JRS, the speed with which the global refugee population has grown has pushed us to focus on how we can best serve. We looked closely at the needs of the refugee population and considered what type of assistance we might be uniquely suited to provide.
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Supporting justice against conflict minerals
(Brussels) November 28, 2016 — The European Union last week took a positive, but half-hearted, step towards cleaning up Europe's trade in minerals. EU legislators concluded their negotiations on a new law on so-called 'conflict minerals'—a Regulation which is meant to ensure that minerals entering the EU do not finance conflict or human rights violations.
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JRS leader to receive CRISPAZ Peace Award
(San Salvador) November 27, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Fr. Thomas Smolich, S.J., will be honored by Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ) with the CRISPAZ Peace Award on Wednesday, November 30, at an evening reception at Santa Clara University's De Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, Calif. 
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‘Dear Pope Francis’ book sales benefit Jesuit Refugee Service programs around the world
(Chicago) November 22, 2016 — Loyola Press had great success this year launching their book, Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World. Children were delighted by it; parents and grandparents enjoyed reading it with their families. Those signs of success were great, but they weren’t what made the most difference to us. It was the lessons we learned from the children and Pope Francis themselves. A portion of the book's sales are being donated to Jesuit Refugee Service/USA to support JRS global projects.
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JRS Afghanistan expands education opportunities for girls
(Washington, D.C.) November 21, 2016 – While many international aid organizations have pulled out of Afghanistan, Jesuit Refugee Service remains committed to helping educate the country’s youth – particularly girls and those from marginalized ethnic groups. Fr. Orville Desilva S.J. spoke recently to JRS/USA about education programs in the country.
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Jesuit Refugee Service Syria staff stand together in serving the displaced
(Beirut) November 20, 2016 — The war in Syria has grabbed world headlines for almost six years now; the violence has killed and wounded thousands; millions have been made homeless: most of them displaced within Syria itself,while others have been forced to seek refuge in another country. Many towns and cities of Syria are destroyed beyond recognition.
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The commitment continues: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the election
(Washington, D.C.) November 16, 2016 — It has been just over a week since the divisive presidential campaign came to its surprising conclusion. We have taken this time to consider soberly the implications of the upcoming change of administration, and its possible effect on the refugees and forced migrants which Jesuit Refugee Service/USA seeks to serve.
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Wider protection for migrant and refugee children
(Rome) November 17, 2016 – On the occasion of Universal Children's Day this Sunday, we echo Pope Francis’ appeal “to adopt every possible measure to guarantee the protection and safety of child migrants.” In this time of epic human displacement, “children constitute the most vulnerable group, because as they face the life ahead of them, they are invisible and voiceless.”
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Recent stories
Walking with Refugees Award Reception
(Washington, D.C.) October 20, 2016 — Fr. Kenneth J. Gavin S.J. has dedicated the past decade of his life to helping refugees and displaced people worldwide. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA will honor Fr. Gavin with the Grace Kobbe Tevis Award for Extraordinary Service during a special event at The New York Athletic Club on Dec. 1.
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Cambodia: Creating change through education
(Battambang, Cambodia) November 15, 2016 — Srey Puth is a young and dynamic Cambodian woman. She was born in the late eighties in a refugee camp at the Thai-Cambodia border. During that time war ravaged the region. Armed groups planted the earth with landmines and cluster bombs all over the country.
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Higher education, vocational training are key to improving refugee lives
(Washington, D.C.) November 16, 2016 – Fr. David Holdcroft S.J. believes an education is among the most practical gifts JRS can offer. During his six-years as regional director of Jesuit Refugee Service Southern Africa, he and his staff developed and implemented educational programs that offered inspiration and tangible benefits to the refugees they served.
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Australia: JRS welcomes resettlement deal with USA
(King’s Cross, NSW) November 15, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service Australia welcomes the announcement by the Australian government that some refugees on Nauru and Manus Island will be resettled in the United States.
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Mercy in Motion: Accompany, Serve, Advocate
(Washington, D.C.) November 14, 2016 – Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan S.J., who in October was appointed interim executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, recently spoke at the University of Scranton about the global refugee crisis and the global mission of JRS. He also explained why it’s essential for “mercy” to be a central part of the human experience.
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Pope Francis highlights protection and safety of child migrants in annual message
(Rome) November 13, 2016 — In his annual message ahead of January’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis notes the vulnerability of child migrants. The Pope asks “everyone to take care of the young, who in a threefold way are defenseless: they are children, they are foreigners, and they have no means to protect themselves.”
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Reflections on Central American migrant issues
(Montreal) November 11, 2016 — Every time I visit a country in the developing world, I am always struck by the enormous differences with Canada, but also its similarities. Certain parts of those countries are rich, and therefore have similar amenities to Canada.
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Who is my neighbor?
(Kings Cross, NSW) November 10, 2016 — “Are you on the side of the life that lives in Jesus, the life of grace and truth, of unstinting generosity and unsparing honesty, the only life that gives life to others? Or are you on your own side, on the side of disconnection, rivalry, the hoarding of gifts, the obsession with control?”
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South Africa: U.S. State Department hears of harrowing refugee experiences during visit to JRS
(Johannesburg) November 8, 2016 — Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, visited Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa’s Urban Refugee Program November 1, to learn first hand about the challenges faced by vulnerable refugees — survivors of SGBV and refugees from the LGBTI community.
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Venezuela: Colombian refugees contribute to peace
(El Nula, Venezuela) November 7, 2016 — Women and girls are among the most vulnerable in Colombia due to widespread violence caused by decades of conflict. Young girls are exposed to armed recruitment, while women often find themselves on their own in their attempts to sustain their family.
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2015 Annual Report