Based on the needs of refugees and the capacities of the organisation, JRS staff provide a broad range of services to more than 700,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons worldwide. These services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.
- Emergency relief assistance
- Human rights protection
- Pastoral care/ social services
Education is the core JRS activity in most regions. It comprises a wide range of services involving formal and informal instruction, including pre-school, primary, secondary and third level education, special education (especially in Asia), distance education, scholarships, life-skills and vocational training, adult literacy, computer and language classes, extra tuition and revision classes, and education for peace and reconciliation. In Africa and Asia, JRS strengthens the educational system in communities by training teachers and providing them with incentives, constructing schools, providing school equipment and supporting parent-teacher associations.
In 2011, JRS provided education services to approximately 250,000 young people in 29 countries worldwide.
Emergency relief assistance
A large part of the work of JRS involves the distribution of food and non-food items, such as mattresses and blankets, clothes, seeds and tools, money for transport and referrals and the provision of medical treatment. JRS also distributes tents in refugee camps, renovates buildings in post-conflict situations and helps refugees find accommodation in urban areas.
In 2011, JRS provided emergency assistance to more than 68,000 forcibly displaced persons in 21 countries.
Healthcare services offered by JRS include referrals and payment for medical treatment; healthcare services in detention centres; work in clinics and hospitals; food supplements; health education and training for medical and nursing staff.
In 2011, JRS provided more than 12,500 persons in 17 countries with healthcare services.
Human rights protection
Human rights protection covers legal casework, including asylum cases, and legal advice. Another aspect of this work is the organisation of training and awareness seminars, which are provided to public officials, local NGOs, and refugees. In JRS, legal work and advocacy are closely tied to research into the causes of forced displacement.
In 2011, JRS provided services directly related to human rights protection to more than 62,000 individuals in 17 countries.
Whether helping refugees integrate into their new host communities or preparing them for their return home or resettlement in a third country, JRS seeks to promote self-sufficiency among refugees. Services include helping refugees access employment and land, providing technical training and assistance and facilitating the establishment of small businesses by making available funds, grants and loans, as well as tools and other resources. Such initiatives are implemented in many spheres – farming, crafts, production of food, soap and other commodities – and go beyond the economic aspect (self-sufficiency, earning an income) to encompass human (restoration of dignity and hope) and social (integration, community initiatives) elements.
In 2011, JRS provided livelihood services to more than 90,000 individuals in 13 countries.
Pastoral care/ social services
This area of support is extremely broad. Pastoral care refers to targeted initiatives – capacity-building among catechists, youth, community leaders and small Christian communities – and to wider ministry that reaches thousands. The latter includes liturgical services, including administration of the Sacraments, and pastoral accompaniment, especially of people who are ill, traumatised and bereaved. For instance, in detention centres, JRS offers chaplaincy services.
Other forms of support include psychosocial, social and recreational services, and community development activities. The degree of JRS involvement includes offering a listening ear or therapy for mental health problems and the organisation of support groups. Landmine survivors, victims of abuse, ex-child soldiers and those who have experienced trauma are among those supported.
In 2011, JRS provided pastoral care and social services to approximately 222,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons in 40 countries.