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.

Meet JRS Chad’s Country Director, Alberto Martin Huertas
2017 is a huge challenge for JRS Chad, we are expanding our activities in primary education to five more refugee camps in Farchana and Oure Cassoni. At the same time, this year is going to be our first experience implementing a Child Protection program. It is a big challenge, with a lot of work to do, but we are very passionate and it shows the confidence that our donors have in us.
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Muslims and Christians unite to call for bridges not walls
(Rome) February 7, 2017 — As we celebrate the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, the Italian Islamic Religious Community and Jesuit Refugee Service take President Trump's Executive Order on immigration and refugees as an affront to our common Muslim and Christian values, and a repudiation of our shared humanity.
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Catholic leaders condemn Executive Order on Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) February 1, 2017 — Yesterday the Board of Directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America released a statement urging President’s Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees and Migration to be withdrawn, as it is morally unjust and religiously dangerous. The order “conflicts starkly with the religious and ethical values held in the Roman Catholic tradition.”
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Anti-refugee Executive Order causes chaos and suffering
(Washington, D.C.) January 31, 2017 — In the few days that have passed since the issuance of an Executive Order suspending all refugee entry into the United States and blocking the entry of immigrant and non-immigrant visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries, the chaos that has reigned at U.S. airports has underlined the degree to which the Order was ill considered at its foundation and issued without adequate consultation or preparation by the responsible government agencies.
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TAKE ACTION to oppose harmful Executive Orders
(Washington, D.C.) January 30, 2017 — Last week, President Trump issued a series of Executive Orders which pose significant threats to immigrants and refugees both currently in the U.S. and those planning to arrive in our country seeking safety and security. The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA have issued statements denouncing these Executive Orders and we ask you to take action as well.
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Barring refugees is an affront to American values
(Washington, D.C.) January 27, 2017 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA expresses its deep opposition to provisions in today’s Executive Order suspending the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program for 120 days and indefinitely suspending the admission of refugees from war torn Syria. These actions fly in the face of Catholic and American values and do a disservice to our long history of welcoming the stranger.
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Jesuit Refugee Service, Interfaith Coalition Oppose Plans to Halt Refugee Resettlement
(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2017 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA strongly opposes the reported plans of the Trump administration to halt the resettlement of refugees to the United States, to reduce the number of refugees admitted annually, and to ban resettlement of certain nationalities. Please join us in sending a message to the President that you support our tradition of providing life-saving refuge to vulnerable displaced people, in accordance with our cherished American values.
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READ Act helps ensure global access to quality education
(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2017 — As the world watches a new Congress and Administration assume power in the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives took an important step forward in prioritizing global access to education. The READ Act would ensure the U.S. has a comprehensive strategy to improve global educational opportunities for vulnerable children.
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An Open Letter to President Trump
(Washington, D.C.) January 20, 2017 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Interim Executive Director Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan S.J. notes that welcoming refugees and migrants “reflects our desire to respond to the call of the Jewish and Christian scriptures to welcome strangers among us, especially those in danger or great need.”
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Young refugees represent hope for a peaceful future
(Rome) January 17, 2017 - On the occasion of the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees Sunday, many refugees, volunteers and friends of Jesuit Refugee Service Italy — Centro Astalli — met Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa, newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
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Recent stories
Sri Lanka refugees seek acceptance in Thailand
(Rome) January 11, 2017 — As they await UN processing for resettlement the family lives in a small room close to both a commercial and a military airport. "Every time there is a fighter jet flying over our head, my son runs away from the playground and hides in the flat."
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U.S. Policies Must Affirm Dignity of All Migrants & Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) January 10, 2017 — This week, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Migration Week, an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, and victims and survivors of human trafficking.
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Kenya: psychosocial care for vulnerable children
(Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya) January 5, 2017 — Children can be at risk of being hurt or exploited during traumatic and stressful events because of stress that adults are experiencing. They might also find it difficult to access services from agencies or individuals because of a lack of knowledge about services provided, simply not knowing their human rights, or even who/how to ask for assistance. 
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Displaced families in Central African Republic eke through life behind factory walls
(Bambari, Central African Republic) January 2, 2017 — Some two hours from Bambari, the second largest town in the Central African Republic, a group of about 5,000 workers in a sugar factory, fearing for their lives, have occupied a factory. Their homes are less than two kilometers away, but they had to leave them a few months ago, fleeing from machetes and burning houses. Nobody dares return home.
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End of year message from the International Director
(Rome) December 30, 2016 – The past year has been memorable for shadows and lights. One shadow hovering over our world is the reality of 65 million refugees and displaced people – the highest number in our history. We are all acutely aware of places like Aleppo and Athens. Yet JRS also works where those on the move in places off the radar.
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Teacher training in context
(Lilongwe, Malawi) December 28, 2016 — In late 2015, about 12,000 Mozambicans crossed the border to Malawi to seek refuge from political upheaval and violence in their home province. Though many have now returned home, about 2,000 remain in Malawi due to the ongoing unrest.
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Syria: JRS calls for safe passage and security to all civilian population in Aleppo
(Beirut) December 23, 2016 – The escalation of violence with the continued shelling in Aleppo (both in the eastern and western parts) for the greater part of the last couple of months has been a cause of great concern to the Jesuit Refugee Service.
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Syria: Laila, art is in her heart
(Beirut) December 22, 2016 – Al-Zabadani is a beautiful and popular hill town in southwestern Syria not far from the Lebanon border. But for almost five years it has been a battleground between rebels and the Syrian Army. As this picturesque town now stands ravaged, several of its inhabitants are seeking refuge in safer zones in Syria or in another country.
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Providing a voice to Bhutanese refugees
(Rome) December 21, 2016 — Fr Varkey Perekkatt S.J., former field director for Jesuit Refugee Service in Nepal, believes that education is what enabled more than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettled and begin the journey to a better future. 
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Syria: JRS serves displaced in Aleppo
(Beirut) December 19, 2016 — The situation in Aleppo continues to be a cause of great concern. The hostilities continue without ceasing. People continue to flee eastern Aleppo in large numbers. Ground reports inform us that internally displaced people — primarily women and children — flee with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing and with only a few essentials.
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Lampedusa Concerts The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Haiti & Dominican Republic Issue Areas Way of the Cross

Servir No. 62

Walk a Mile in My Shoes: How to Host a Refugee Experience

2015 Annual Report