Project Description

Jesuit Refugee Service Europe

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is present in 12 European countries, including Macedonia, Kosovo and Ukraine. The services offered vary, depending on the country context and the resources of each team.

The scope of all initiatives is to support forcibly displaced people who are adversely affected by European policy, who do not find the welcome and new life they hoped would be theirs. This includes advocacy for the rights of forced migrants on both sides of the EU external borders.

In most countries where JRS is present, the teams visit people in immigration detention, offering services ranging from legal aid and information to social work to health care to pastoral care and counselling.

Services are offered in the community, too, often through drop-in centres and outreach teams. Many JRS Europe programs offer language classes, informal educational support for children and help to find work and accommodation. Psychosocial counselling is available in several countries, especially for the vulnerable. And limited material support is given to forcibly displaced people who have no other means of sustenance.

Encouraging the community to welcome refugees is something JRS Europe is doing more and more. An innovative Welcome Network run by JRS France, which invites families and religious communities to welcome homeless asylum seekers and refugees into their homes, has sparked enthusiasm in JRS to create communities of hospitality across Europe. We feel that the best way to make Europe a more welcoming society for refugees is not just to provide services ourselves, but to show other people how to be hospitable to refugees, too.