Jesuit Refugee Service Reaches a Quarter Million Refugees with Global Education Initiative

24 June 2019

Education in Thailand Classroom (Jesuit Refugee Service)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) announced with gratitude that the Global Education Initiative (GEI), an international campaign to raise $35 million to open the doors of education to a quarter of a million refugees each year by 2020, accompanied 253,496 refugees in education programs last year. In order to ensure that JRS can continue to serve refugee students, teacher trainees and lifelong learners, the campaign is seeking to raise the remaining $6.7 million to reach its financial goal.

“With the latest news from the U.N. that the number of forcibly displaced people in the world has grown to more than 70 million, we are so grateful to those who supported this campaign; because of them we’ve helped students, teachers and entrepreneurs,” said JRS/USA Executive Director Joan Rosenhauer. “Education is a lifesaving intervention and a lifelong necessity for refugees. The generosity of those who supported the campaign allows us to reach more people who are displaced. Now we must ensure the future of our education programs so we can continue to provide hope and a brighter future to the refugees we serve until they find a permanent home.”

The average length of time that a refugee is displaced is 26 years. In some protracted situations JRS could support a refugee’s education from primary school to adulthood, and continue to do so for their children. By providing education to displaced people, JRS gives children a safe and stable environment and gives older refugees a path forward in the world and the tools required to access the economic opportunities needed for life.

The Global Education Initiative takes steps to ensure sustainable, lifelong opportunities for education. The initiative is committed to being:

  • Accessible. It is available to all who are displaced, for as long as they are displaced.
  • Varied.  It runs pre-primary, primary, secondary, post-secondary and supplemental education programs for children, adults, and prospective teachers.
  • Adaptive. It is trauma-informed and draws from the local and refugee communities.
  • Equal. It is committed to increasing access for women and girls, especially in secondary education.
  • Sustainable. It trains teachers from within refugee communities.
  • Expansive. There are opportunities for post-secondary and professional education for adult refugees.

More information on JRS’s Global Education Initiative and stories of refugees who have participated in the program can be found on our website.