About us

About JRS Australia

 JRS: an international organisation

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organisation, founded in 1980 as a work of the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”).

Seeking social justice for refugees worldwide: JRS undertakes services, accompaniment and advocacy at national, regional and international levels to ensure that refugees have full rights while in exile, and to strengthen the protection afforded to refugees, internally displaced people, people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced people. 

Programs offering global support: JRS programs are found in 51 countries, assisting refugees, people seeking asylum and other displaced people in camps, detention centres, war zones and urban settings. JRS offers support mainly through access to education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services.

At the end of 2016, more than 733,400 individuals worldwide were direct beneficiaries of JRS projects.

JRS in Australia

JRS accompanies, serves and advocates for refugees and people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced people in our own country. These people face destitution, limbo and homelessness as Government policy grows increasingly unwelcoming and punitive.

We offer dignity and hope through emergency assistance, temporary shelter, a foodbank, professional casework, community activities, employment support, school engagement, legal advice, targeted advocacy, and a project to empower women seeking asylum.

Strong local alliances: We have a strong alliance with parishes, communities and schools across Australia, religious orders, local and state governments, refugee organisations, campaigns and coalitions, and other organisations in the community in the not for profit and education sectors.

A global presence: We have a presence on advisory forums in the Asia-Pacific region, and at the global level, participating in international campaigns and coalitions and contributing to UN forums.

A stronger voice for refugees: We are deeply concerned with advocacy and human rights work. We participate in national, regional and international advocacy and human rights work for refugees and people seeking asylum, collaborating with organisations and networks. Our work is based in and informed by the voices of refugees and people seeking asylum. Working alongside them as they strive for hope and dignity, we learn about the issues that most affect their lives.         .

JRS history

For nearly 500 years the Jesuits have gone where the need is greatest, supporting and empowering the most vulnerable people who are living in poverty and without hope and dignity. In 1980 the Jesuit Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ established JRS to support refugees as a response to the then-unprecedented humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing Vietnam and Cambodia. Since that time, JRS has worked to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees, people seeking asylum, and other forcibly displaced people – regardless of their religion or country of origin.

The mission of the Jesuit Refugee Service is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

As a Catholic organisation and a work of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), JRS is inspired by the compassion and love of Jesus for the poor and excluded.

Our vision for JRS

In 1980, deeply shocked by the plight of thousands of Vietnamese boat people fleeing their war-torn country, Fr Pedro Arrupe, the then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, felt compelled to act. He called on the Jesuits “to bring at least some relief to such a tragic situation”. And so the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was born, as our global response to a refugee crisis in Asia.

Today we continue to be invited by Fr Arrupe and by St Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, to look at the world in a deeply spiritual way.

We see people “so diverse in dress and behaviour: some white and others black, some in peace and others at war, some weeping and others laughing, some healthy and others sick, some being born and others dying” (St Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises).

We see a world growing ever closer together through greater mobility and better communications.

But while goods and finances move freely in the global market, the same is not always true of people. There remain many racial, cultural, religious, political and economic divisions and borders; the gap between rich and poor is growing.

Due to unjust structures, a quarter of humanity lives on the edge, struggling to survive and maintain its dignity.

Conflicts erupt as people scramble for their share of dwindling resources. Living amid social disintegration and in failed states, they have little security, while environmental degradation and climate change present new threats.

Already excluded from the benefits of economic and technological developments, the poor are the victims of resource wars, of climate change and failing states. And it is the poor who end up being forcibly displaced from their homes.

More than 15 million of them are refugees, and over 25 million have been internally displaced in their own countries.

Today’s major displacements are in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. People of Islamic faith and culture now make up 70 per cent of all forcibly displaced persons.

Half of the world’s refugees remain ‘invisible’ in urban areas.

Refugees and asylum seekers are confronted with ever higher walls and frontiers of exclusion in Europe and other wealthier parts of the world.

They are denied their right to protection in a growing environment of hostility towards migrants and refugees. Their hopelessness is a threat to the future of our world.

We – Jesuits, lay people and religious working with JRS – are shocked by this reality of forcible displacement.

For the past 30 years, JRS has walked with forcibly displaced persons; accompanying them, serving them humbly, and advocating for justice and their rights to protection.

As we look forward to the challenges of the years to come, we are sustained by our faith and spiritual values.

As an international Catholic organisation and a work of the Jesuits, we are inspired by the example of Jesus and his compassion and love for the poor.

Given the magnitude of the challenges, JRS needs to become a stronger and more united international organisation.

As we plan for the coming years, we will continue to serve refugees who are forced to live on the edges of humanity.

We will strive to overcome geographical, racial, cultural and religious frontiers and divisions. We will work with compassion and love, which enable us to engage with people of all races, cultures and religions in an open and respectful way.

Although practical in its nature, our service will be equally spiritual, promoting hope and reconciliation.

We believe that education, learning together, and sharing knowledge are vital ingredients to nourish hope in people.

Our dream is a world free from frontiers, divisions and forcible displacement, where people can move freely and securely – a world where the value of hospitality is extended to everyone.

Peter Balleis SJ, International Director, Jesuit Refugee Service

JRS Board

Sr Annette Cunliffe – Chair since 19 June 2015

Sr Annette has devoted her life to providing leadership in education and pursuing social justice. She was a teacher and principal in secondary colleges in several states, and then headed the School of Educational Leadership at the Australian Catholic University. She also acted as a mentor for young teachers from South East Asia.

From 1996-2002 and since 2008 Sr Annette has been the Congregational Leader of her order, the Sisters of Charity of Australia, and has coordinated outreach programs for vulnerable community members.  She has been President of the Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes (NSW) and Inaugural Chair of the Stewardship Board of Catholic Health Australia; she was the President of Catholic Religious Australia until 2014. She has served on a number of incorporated boards, and joined the JRS Board on 1 October 2012. She was NSW State Finalist for Senior Australian of the Year 2014.

Qualifications: BSc (UNSW); Diploma of Education (UNE); Master of Education (Hons) (UNSW); PhD (Griffith)


Elizabeth Biok – Board member since 1 December 2016

Elizabeth Biok has worked as a human rights lawyer in the area of refugee and administrative law. She practised in refugee and immigration law at the Legal Aid Commission for 25 years until her retirement in 2016 and was a volunteer lawyer and interpreter with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service. She is widely published.

Elizabeth has been a member of the International Commission of Jurists Australia with a special interest in Indonesia and Timor Leste.  In that capacity, she played an expert role in the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, and she worked with the UN in Timor Leste in 1999-2000.  She has also been a member of the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia, the Welfare Rights Centre and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service.

Qualifications: B.A (Hons ), Diploma of Education, Diploma of Law, Doctorate in Juridical Studies (on Refugees in the Asia Pacific region, particularly related to Indonesia), Diploma in Language Studies in Indonesian Studies

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ — Board member since 1 August 2016

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ is Parish Priest at Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt in Western Sydney. He has a very broad range of skills and interests, and this is reflected in his holistic activities in the Parish. A former pathology chemist, Fr Greg has a strong background in science. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1996 with the intention of combining his two great passions – science and religion. He was ordained in 2008.

FR Greg also has a background in environmental stewardship, and is a respected speaker on Pope Francis’ 2016 Encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si.

Qualifications: Master of Theology (MCD); Master of Science & Religion (Edinburgh); Grad Dip Arts (History & Philosophy of Science); Grad Dip Education (Secondary); Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)

Dr Eve Lester – Board member since 1 November 2010

Eve Lester, an expert in migration and refugee law, has worked in legal policy and practice in Australia and overseas in the NGO sector, as a consultant with the UN and as an independent adviser to governments.  Prior to commencing her Board member role, she already had a long connection with JRS, having worked with JRS in Australia, Cambodia and Geneva.

In other overseas positions, Eve has served as head of Amnesty International’s refugee and migration program at its International Secretariat in London, and as a Consultant to the International Refugee Program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First) in New York, where her role focused on building and strengthening refugee protection networks in the NGO sector in West Africa.  She has also worked in Geneva with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, where she was the NGO Liaison Officer during UNHCR’s Global Consultations on International Protection.  Eve has conducted training on human rights and refugee issues in many parts of the world, published widely on migration and refugee law and policy, and delivered courses, guest lectures and seminars in tertiary institutions both in Australia and overseas.

Qualifications: BA/LLB (Melb), PhD (Melb)

Catherine Verschuer – September 2018

Catherine has performed many and varied roles over the years, chiefly in the areas of education, design and content creation, while also committing time to raising her four children. A common theme in Catherine’s work and interests has been supporting community and social justice causes. As Chair of The Magnolia Foundation, Catherine has had the opportunity to observe a variety of social enterprises in action, and has gained useful insights into the not-for-profit sector.

Catherine has two sons who have been educated in the Ignatian tradition at St Aloysius College and feels a deep connection to the Jesuit philosophy and admiration for their commitment to service and social justice.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Education, Secondary (ACU);Certificate in TESOL(ACU); Diplomas in Graphic and Surface Design (ISCD); Diploma in Interior Design (ISCD)

JRS Staff

photo of Carolina GottardoCarolina Gottardo, Director

Carolina is a lawyer and economist who has worked on human rights issues for more than 20 years in different countries and contexts. Her areas of specialisation are gender, asylum and migration. Before commencing her JRS role in April 2017, Carolina was the director of a UK women’s rights organisation for six years, working with refugee and migrant women. She served as the National Policy and Research Director of the Refugee Council of Australia in 2006/2007. She has also been a senior manager at the British Institute of Human Rights, British Red Cross and One World Action (now Womankind Worldwide) in the UK. She worked for the Constitutional Court and the UN Development Programme in her native country, Colombia.

Carolina has served on a number of boards related to human rights, gender, migration and refugee issues, including law centres, the Asylum Seekers Appeals Project, LIBERTY and Maternity Action in London and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants in Brussels.

Carolina is currently co-chair of the End Child Detention Coalition Australia and the chair of the women and girls group and focal point on the Global Compact on Migration at the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.

Carolina has advocacy experience at UN level. She is currently one of two civil society members of the Global Expert Working Group to address the human rights of women in the Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration convened by UN Women with the participation of several UN agencies and committees. She is the mother of three boys and enjoys spending time with her family.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws, Universidad de los Andes; Bachelor of Economics, Universidad de los Andes; MSc in Development Management, London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Working at JRS: Staff voices

Maeve Brown, Manager, The Arrupe Project

I have over 11 years’ experience working with people from refugee backgrounds, including eight years in the settlement sector. Since 2014 I have been working to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of asylum seekers through my work with Jesuit Refugee Service.

My professional background includes leadership and management roles, youth work, and community development work with newly arrived young people and families.

I am passionate about working collaboratively to ensure the rights of people seeking protection to rebuild their lives in Australia in safety and with dignity.

Qualifications: BA Anthropology and African/African-American Studies, University of Virginia; Diploma – Community Services Work, SWSI TAFE; MSD (Master of Social Development) Refugees and Forced Migration, UNSW.

Stephanie Beckwith, Caseworker

I have been a caseworker at JRS since October 2015, providing support services to people seeking asylum in Australia. In the last 6 months I have also been conducting a pilot project that aimed to gain an understanding of the experiences of gender based violence for women seeking asylum, and their access to specialist support services.

Through my overseas travels and volunteer work whilst at university, I developed a strong passion for the rights of people seeking asylum. I went into my social work degree hoping to end up in a role where I would be working towards greater social justice for people seeking asylum in Australia.

I joined JRS because I could see that it was an organisation that provided support to the most vulnerable in the community, and worked to fill the gaps in existing service provision. I was particularly drawn to JRS’ focus on accompaniment and walking with people on their journey.

As caseworkers at JRS, we see every day the immense challenges that people encounter when seeking safety in Australia. Yet we also witness the incredible strength and resilience of people in the face of such adversity. I feel very privileged to be in a position to work alongside people seeking asylum and within such a passionate and committed team.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Social Work (Honours); Bachelor of Arts (Development Studies Program); Master of Culture, Health and Medicine (Global Health and Development Specialisation) 


photo of Joanna BrookeJoanna Brooke, Community Development Officer

Based at the Arrupe Community Centre in Parramatta, I coordinate community programs in collaboration with JRS clients. These programs include a playgroup, English classes, women’s health days, a homework club and a foodbank. At the community centre, we aim to always create a space that centralises respect for each person and their strengths. The great thing about the community programs we run at JRS is that they are just that – community-run. All our programs are created and facilitated in partnership with volunteers and people seeking asylum.

Before joining the JRS team in September 2017, I coordinated a national Indigenous youth leadership program through Reconciliation Australia’s Recognise campaign, the national movement to raise awareness and support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I also supervised community development projects in central Australia and in Sweden. Alongside my work with JRS, I am a musician. I am the Artistic Director of the Jubilate Singers, a community choir based in Sydney’s Inner West. I also facilitate music and dance workshops to schools with Suara Indonesia Dance.

I joined JRS because I believe I have a responsibility as a citizen of this country to ally with people seeking asylum and advocate alongside them for the rights they are due. JRS puts people before politics, before process, and before policy – and this is a much needed approach.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Social Work (Hons), UNSW.

Leonie Dyer, Employment Coordinator

I joined the team in July 2017.
Our employment program, Empowered to Work, assists clients to find pathways to training and employment opportunities. We create resumes, open the door to job searching, provide guidance for job interviews and facilitate workplace mentoring. I work with a team of fantastic volunteers to meet a diverse range of client employment needs each week.
I wanted to join JRS because I felt they aligned with my own values regarding empowering people seeking asylum in our community. The JRS staff are  knowledgeable and experienced; I knew I would be able to learn and develop personally and professionally.
I’ve learnt the true definition of resilience. It’s incredible to see clients who have had full lives and careers in their home countries start all over again, often taking on training and employment at entry level. I’ve witnessed them working through the barriers to employment in Australia and rebuild their working lives.
I love working at JRS for the diversity of people, culture and experiences we meet every day. I’m also inspired to work alongside the every day kindness and compassion of the staff and volunteers. It’s not always easy but we work together to accompany our clients with dignity and care.

photo of Susana GaleSusana Gale, Accountant

I joined Jesuit Mission at the beginning of 2013 as the JRS accountant and in January 2015 was finally transferred to JRS.

I was born in Argentina, where I graduated as an Accountant and registered with the Professional Council of Economic Sciences. I have extensive international experience working for a wide range of organisations, from not-for-profit entities and small to medium enterprises to large corporations in Argentina, South Africa and Australia.

When the opportunity arose I joined Jesuit Mission and later JRS because I have always been attracted to Ignatian values – due to the Jesuits’ positive and long-lasting influence in my country of birth.

Since I began working at JRS I have witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit when translated into action by outstanding human beings (staff, management, volunteers, donors) who care about the struggles the asylum seekers and refugees are facing in our land and our world today. Hence I believe it is an honour to be part of the JRS family.

I also believe that JRS, like many other not-for-profit organisations, needs to address its own sustainability as well as finding solutions to the scarcity of resources and funding .

Qualifications: Graduate accountant; Diploma of Australian Taxation Law.

Angela Gallard, Caseworker

photo of Angela GallrdAs a caseworker, I assist and support people to navigate complex systems and access JRS and other available supports and services during the process of applying for protection in Australia.

I worked with people with disability, their families and carers for 12 years before joining JRS in 2013. I have qualifications in Community Welfare and Social Work.

In my previous role, I had some contact with people from a refugee background who had sought asylum in Australia and wanted to learn more about the challenges people faced when seeking Australia’s protection. My only knowledge at that time was limited to what independent and mainstream media had reported.

JRS would not reach anywhere as many people needing support without volunteers, and it has been a great privilege to work with people who have demonstrated incredible resilience living with ongoing uncertainty over long periods of time.



photo of Margaret GuyMargaret Guy RSC, Volunteer Coordinator

I work alongside our Volunteer Coordinator at Kings Cross. My main role is to coordinate the recruitment, training, supervision and support of volunteers based at Arrupe Place and Arrupe Community Centre, Parramatta.

I am a Sister of Charity and was involved in education for many years before working for 20 years with outreach programs involving volunteers working alongside staff supporting disadvantaged people. After having a short break, I was looking to a new ministry, and asylum seekers and refugees kept coming into my thoughts when I prayed.

I joined JRS in July 2014 when the Director was looking for a centre of hospitality in western Sydney, where many people seeking asylum live in the community.

I see the mission and values of JRS – compassion, hope dignity, justice and hospitality – lived out on a daily basis by our very committed team even when things are busy and stressful. Listening often to some of the stories of asylum seekers, I am amazed at their resilience and hope, and this is the spirit I experience most working at JRS. I greatly appreciate the commitment of regular volunteers, without which most of our social programs could not happen.

I believe that JRS, along with our partners, is addressing some of the practical needs of people seeking asylum, and so often listening continuously to these people and offering hospitality as they accompany them in this inhumane system, with our limited resources.


photo of Janelle MassihJanelle Massih, Caseworker

I joined  JRS in September 2016. In my final year of completing my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at University of Sydney, I completed a four-month placement at JRS. Prior to that I also did a student placement working with women who had experienced domestic violence.

I was lucky to start working for JRS shortly after completing my placement, which was an eye-opening experience. I had begun it thinking I wasn’t going to work as a social worker. I completed my placement knowing I needed to continue this work. I felt I couldn’t turn away from work that was so important and crucial.

The people we are working with are extremely resilient. They come offering so much knowledge, wisdom, skills and talents and I learn a lot from every person I meet.  While the job can be extremely difficult, JRS responds well to policy changes and ensuring we’re adapting to meet  gaps. JRS works with the most vulnerable people in our society regardless of where they are at in the process of seeking asylum.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Social Work


photo of Anne NesbittAnne Nesbitt, Bookends Project Officer and School Engagement Officer

I joined JRS in October 2017. Prior to that, I was employed for ten years by Sydney Catholic Schools as a learning support teacher.  Having immigrated here in 2000 from Boston, I was unaware of the unjust and punitive system endorsed by the Australian Government.  After the Tampa incident, I started volunteering as avolunteer teacher/outreach worker, first with House of Welcome and then at St Bakhita’s Sudanese Catholic Centre.
As I graduated from a Jesuit school in the USA, I have been involved with Jesuit ministries for many years.  As a parent at the Sydney Jesuit school St Ignatius Riverview, I volunteered with Jesuit Mission for nine years, and was the Chair of the Jesuit Mission Indian Bazaar Committee – the major annual Jesuit Mission fundraiser – for three years.
The Bookends project provides the opportunity to establish, resource, implement and monitor collaborative initiatives supporting asylum seekers in the various ministries throughout the Jesuit Province in Australia.
Education is so empowering! JRS enables me to work with students to raise awareness. When students engage with issues seeking asylum, they become informed and feel compelled to address those issues.
I am always amazed at the resilience of people seeking asylum: they have endured so much and they still have such hope. I draw strength from their courage.
I am extremely grateful to be part of the JRS team and privileged to be a companion of the asylum seekers. Serving refugees gives meaning to my life, and I have learned far more from
them than they from me.
Qualifications: BA Languages, Grad.Dip.Ed., MBA Finance, MA Development Studies.


photo of Anne PorterAnne Porter, Volunteer Coordinator, Kings Cross

I joined JRS in 2009. Before that, I volunteered with West London Churches Homeless Concern in London for seven years.

Our son went to a Jesuit School and I feel strongly about the inhumane and unjust policies of the Australian Government.

I have learned to be in awe of the resilience and patience of many asylum seekers and their bravery in crossing the seas to attempt to start a new life in Australia.

I feel JRS is not only helping with the practical aspects of assisting asylum seekers have a better life but also advocating tirelessly to change public perceptions of asylum seekers. I love working with the committed staff.


Sarah Puls, Casework Team Leader

I joined JRS in February 2015. My background was working in mental health and family violence services. I’ve worked with people seeking asylum since 2011 (at House of Welcome and as a detention centre visitor).

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work.


Nishadh Rego, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

I am responsible for creating and implementing JRS Australia’s advocacy strategy; supporting (along with clients, colleagues and partners) our strategic lobbying and campaigning work; and contributing to policy development at a national and regional level.

Prior to joining JRS in October 2017, I was a caseworker at Baptcare Sanctuary, a specialist homelessness service for people seeking asylum in Melbourne. Before that I worked in a variety of policy, stakeholder engagement, and community development roles at Australian Red Cross and UNRWA.

Working and volunteering directly with people who have been forcibly displaced has been a humbling experience. I have met many remarkable communities and individuals, some my own age and from places not far from where I was born or grew up. I have also gained deep insights into how politics, policy, circumstance, and sheer luck (or lack thereof) impact people’s lives in such disparate ways.

I am attracted to JRS Australia’s holistic approach towards working with forcibly displaced people. JRS Australia’s philosophy and practice emphasises the natural complementarity of service, accompaniment, and advocacy. No one form of action can be done right without the other, and I believe advocacy in particular must come from the voices and experiences of those affected. By virtue of its local, regional, and global presence, JRS Australia is in a unique position to engage a range of actors at many different levels.

Qualifications: Bachelors of Economics/Arts (Political Science) (Hons), Australian National University; Masters of International Relations, University of Melbourne.


Goal 1

Compassion for humanity on the edge

Moved by compassion and respect for human dignity, we will be flexible and focused in our response to the new emerging situations of forced displacement.


Rapid response to forced displacement

  • Inspired by the same compassion that gave rise to the founding of JRS, we will strengthen our capacity to respond flexibly to new emerging situations of forced displacement due to conflict and natural disasters.
  • JRS will establish response criteria, procedures, structures and alliances for an early response in times of crisis.
  • A JRS emergency assessment and start-up team will be established.
  • We will review our existing programmes to entrenched situations of displacement and develop capacity to respond flexibly to new emerging displacement.

Urban refugees

  • In view of the increasing urbanisation of forced migration, we will strengthen and coordinate our expertise and resources to develop an appropriate response to urban refugees that reflects best practices.

People vulnerable to human trafficking

  • Confronted with human trafficking as a dimension of forced displacement, JRS will undertake to work with other organisations in the protection of those most vulnerable to exploitation.

Accompaniment at grassroots level

  • JRS is internationally recognised for its closeness to the people it serves.
  • We will strengthen and support this facet of our mission and develop in-service programs to help team members recognise and deepen the ‘accompaniment’ aspect of their work with and for refugees.
  • Particular attention will be given to induction programs for new staff members into the JRS mission and values.



  • A rapid-response team will be fully operational and will be capable of responding effectively to emergency situations.
  • All regions will have evaluated their urban projects and incorporated the best practices identified in the March 2012 workshop.
  • JRS will have developed an in-service training program in the area of ‘accompaniment’ to be used by all regions in the training of staff members.


  • All long-term projects that may be in need of revision, and gaps in capacity will have been identified.


  • At least three regions will have developed programs to respond to human trafficking and will have met together to share best practices.

Goal 2

Rooted in faith, acting in justice

Inspired by faith and the values of inclusiveness and solidarity, we will seek to understand and address the causes of structural inequality. We will work in partnership with others to create communities of justice, dialogue, peace and reconciliation.


Intercultural, ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue

  • JRS is inspired by faith and respects the values of other religions and cultures.
  • We share the values of justice, dialogue, peace and reconciliation to create and sustain communities. Service and the struggle for justice make up the concrete inter-faith dialogue of daily life.
  • Given the call to justice and inter-faith dialogue, JRS will enhance its collaborative response with others to the displacement of largely Muslim populations.
  • We will develop inclusive ways of celebrating our shared spiritual values.

Renewing hospitality

  • JRS will promote a spirituality and culture of open doors that embodies hospitality in action.
  • We will oppose xenophobia and all forms of marginalisation and exclusion, and defend the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons to full protection.


  • JRS recognises the great need for reconciliation in today’s world.
  • As an effective sign of God’s love and reconciliation, JRS will deepen this dimension of its mission throughout its work.

Local and global advocacy

  • JRS advocacy work addresses the intermediate causes of forced migration and empowers people to claim the rights to which they are entitled.
  • To ensure that advocacy is linked to our mission, including service and accompaniment at the grassroots level, all JRS regions will integrate advocacy into the project cycle, which includes project proposals, monitoring and evaluation.
  • JRS will strengthen its global networking and alliances that ensure effective coordination of its advocacy efforts.

Helping refugees to tell their stories

  • Using the opportunities afforded by new technologies, JRS will explore and implement coordinated ways of helping to bring the voices and stories of refugees to a wider global audience, while respecting at all times the security and integrity of those concerned.
  • All JRS regions will join the international website, working together to explore new tools of communication.



  • All regions will be contributing refugee stories to the international website, in keeping with JRS ethical policies.


  • A JRS communications manual will provide clear norms for producing electronic and printed materials.


  • Three pilot projects in reconciliation will have been implemented, projects to map aspects of reconciliation work will be under-way in the regions, and an international JRS workshop on reconciliation will have been held.
  • Advocacy will be integrated into the process of project planning and proposals.


  • JRS will have published a paper on its learning and expertise in inter-faith dialogue.
  • JRS will have a consolidated presence in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia promoting communities of inter-faith dialogue and collaboration.

Goal 3

Kindling hope through learning

Based on our belief in the dignity and interdependence of the human family, we will empower uprooted people through learning, fostering a future filled with hope.


Focus on the most vulnerable in education

  • In our primary and secondary education projects, JRS will give priority to the education of girls and teacher training.
  • We will ensure the protection of all children and, where necessary, promote psychosocial care.
  • All JRS education programmes will employ an holistic approach, respecting and developing students’ cultural values and character.

Making tertiary education accessible for refugees

  • In collaboration with Jesuit universities, JRS will strive to increase refugees’ access to higher education through online technology.

Promoting excellence in refugee education

  • JRS will ensure that its broad experience in refugee education and the accomplishments of its educational programmes, including best practices and materials, are made accessible to all JRS regions, making the most effective use of information technology.
  • University collaboration and support JRS will strengthen relationships with Jesuit universities, working with them to develop opportunities for student learning, internships, joint advocacy projects, and academic research on refugee-related issues.



  • JRS will have increased the number of Jesuit Commons – Higher Education on the Margins (JC-HEM) learning sites to at least six.
  • JRS will have deepened its working relationship with Jesuit universities, evidenced through the creation of three to four new collaborative programmes.
  • Educational materials, including best practices, will be accessible to JRS regions on the international website.
  • The majority of JRS educational projects will include psychosocial care for vulnerable children.


A stronger, more united JRS

Firmly rooted in the values of subsidiarity and participation, we will develop and apply coherent standards in governance and management, so that we work with and for forcibly displaced persons, in international unity, with transparency and accountability.


Financial sustainability

  • JRS will establish a fundraising strategy, engaging an international fundraiser to work in close collaboration with all regions, taking into account operational needs and plans, and coordinating with existing fundraising work at the regional level.

Implementation of human resources policies

  • All regional offices of JRS will have skilled, well-trained human resources personnel.
  • Regional human resources officers will be supported by the International Human Resources Coordinator and make use of newly revised JRS documents (Human Resources Policy Manual, Human Resources Guidelines for Leaders, and the Code of Conduct).
  • They will also make consistent and regular use of existing JRS human resources tools.

JRS staff development

  • JRS will achieve greater international unity by developing a well-coordinated induction and ongoing training programme for leaders and all core staff.
  • Application of programme and financial policies and tools JRS will consolidate its organisational effectiveness and unity through a consistent application of policies and protocols, and consistent monitoring of project quality at regional and national levels.

Strengthening organisational communications

  • JRS will improve and coordinate its internal communications efforts, including rules for e-mail usage and an electronic library of JRS documents at both the regional and international levels.

Respecting mutuality and subsidiarity

  • Based on our respect for the principle of subsidiarity, JRS will work to ensure excellent communications with Jesuit provinces, Jesuit conferences and all levels of JRS structures and leadership. JRS will reach out to Jesuits in formation to increase their awareness of the needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
  • Plans for assistance to refugees by JRS and all provinces will be mutually complementary.



  • The JRS Internal Norms and Guidelines will be distributed and applied across the organisation.
  • All regions will have competent HR personnel in place, making use of the updated JRS Human Resources Handbook as well as additional materials and tools.
  • The JRS internal e-mail system will be applied consistently.


  • All regions will have developed a rotating schedule for speaking with Jesuits-information communities within their regions.
  • Every region will have a fundraising strategy coordinated with that of JRS International. JRS will have widened its funding base of private individuals and foundations and will have increased the proportion of income from private and Jesuit sources to 50 per cent by 2015.
  • Increased fundraising coordination across JRS will have reduced the gap between operational proposals and available resources.


  • A culture of learning and staff development will have been established with regular follow-up training for all core JRS staff on both mission and technical aspects of our work.



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