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.





Young refugee tells world of lost ‘Shangri-La’
(Washington, D.C.) June 24, 2016 – Like the mythical paradise of Shangri-La, the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan has been an elusive dream for Dipesh Timsina. But this passionate 19-year-old is determined to let the world to know the “children of Shangri-Lost” — youth like himself raised in refugee camps by parents exiled from Bhutan — are very real.
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‘Given the opportunity we can really do great things’
(Washington, D.C.) June 22, 2016 – Prabhat Adhikari was born and raised in a tight-knit Bhutanese settlement in the shadow of the Himalayas. Yet he’s never stepped foot inside his ancestral homeland of Bhutan. Instead, a cramped refugee camp in nearby Nepal was the only home he knew for the first 19 years of his life.
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World Refugee Day: ‘No situation is permanent’
(Washington, D.C.) June 20, 2016) – Malith Chan entered the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya at age 14 after fleeing horrific violence in his native South Sudan. But with the help of Jesuit Refugee Service he was able to further his education. Malith, now 19, has a new life in Phoenix and aspires to become a civil engineer.
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World Refugee Day 2016 — open minds, unlock potential
(Rome) June 20, 2016 — An unprecedented 60 million people  — mothers, fathers, sisters and children — have fled their homes seeking safety. Imagine everyone in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado in motion: taking trucks, rafts, footpaths and trains; taking children, blankets, clothing and, most often, taking nothing.
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Emmylou Harris: Refugees ‘have so much to offer’
(Shire, Ethiopia) June 17, 2016 – Grammy winning singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris traveled to Ethiopia in June as part of a Jesuit Refugee Service delegation to learn more about issues affecting refugees, particularly the need for education. Ms. Harris talked with JRS about her impressions, how she came to partner with JRS and what the world can do to help mitigate the refugee crisis.
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Media advisory: World Refugee Day 2016
(Rome) June 15, 2016 – This World Refugee Day (June 20), Jesuit Refugee Service calls upon us to provide refugees with a safe place to stay and with opportunities to grow and contribute to society. To truly protect means keeping people safe from all evils, including poverty, isolation, exploitation, misconception and neglect. For this reason, this year JRS is using the theme, Open minds, unlock potential.
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Photos: Emmylou Harris tours JRS projects in Ethiopia
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) June 12, 2016 — “I believe passionately in the work Jesuit Refugee Service is doing around the world to help people who are just searching for a decent, better life,” said singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris last week during a visit to Jesuit Refugee Service projects in Ethiopia. Ms. Harris joined a JRS delegation to learn more about issues affecting refugees, particularly the need for education.
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Restrictive EU migration policies force desperate people to take deadly routes
(Brussels) June 8, 2016 – While interior ministers meet tomorrow to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration.
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Migrants share meals, smiles at Kino Border Initiative
(Nogales, Sonora, Mexico) June 5, 2016 — As you stand in the Kino Border Initiative dining room, the first thing that strikes you is size. Yet despite the limited space – the kitchen and dining area is only a 30-foot by 30-foot – a group of nuns with a dedicated lay staff and volunteers feed about 100 people twice a day.
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Australia: de-identifying asylum seekers isn't always about protection
(Sydney) June 2, 2016 – In Australia, conversation about people who seek asylum often feels disconnected from the people – the real flesh and blood people – whose lives are most affected.The reasons for this are complicated and contested.
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Recent stories
Europe: safe and humane channels needed
(Brussels) June 1, 2016 – According to the UN refugee agency at least 880 forced migrants have perished in a series of shipwrecks on the central Mediterranean over the last week. JRS unequivocally calls upon national and supranational policymakers to use all the means at their disposal to create safe and humane passages for people in need of protection.
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‘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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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