Letter from the Executive Director
When I think about the last year, there were many challenges we didn’t see coming – a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, catastrophe in Afghanistan, desperation and inhumanity on the border of Belarus and our own southern border, and a pandemic that rages on with little to no relief for forcibly displaced people.
But, nurtured by those who have supported us, we stood strong. Our teams around the world
responded to the unexpected with care and concern, accompanied those who were forced to flee catastrophe, and showed welcome to all seeking safety.
A tree’s roots are what keep it standing tall. When rain and wind come deep, strong roots allow it to weather a storm. We are rooted in hope, a hope that keeps us solid and has allowed us to grow and flourish.
In 2021, I had the privilege of visiting our new program in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. The morning I accompanied asylum seekers as they crossed into the United States for the first time it was pouring rain. The weather was absolutely miserable. But, even still, there was hope in the eyes of the families who had finally made it. This hope is at the heart of what we do at JRS, and I believe that even in the rain, when our roots are firmly planted in hope, we can help create a better, more welcoming world.
We hope the stories included in this report show you how strong our roots were despite the
unimaginable storms 2021 brought.
Thank you for your support,
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Executive Director