A Refugee Committee set up at JRS for a more Inclusive Approach.

19 July 2024

In a commitment to democratic principles and inclusive decision-making, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has implemented an innovative initiative – the Refugee Committee. This structure, under the spirit of pastoral care, aims to provide refugees with a democratic space, fostering collective decision-making and ensuring their active inclusion in processes that directly impact their lives.



The Jesuit Refugee Service acknowledges the importance of empowering those directly affected by displacement. The Refugee Committee, coordinated by Rocky Robenson within the framework of pastoral care, serves as a platform where refugees themselves play a central role in formulating policies and making decisions that impact the entire community. This innovative approach reflects a commitment not only to providing support but also to amplifying the voices of those with lived experiences. The committee aims to ensure that the policies and initiatives implemented by JRS, not only meet the needs of refugees but also reflect their diverse perspectives.

Refugees are partners in our mission. They also want to help other refugees like themselves. Their commitment is remarkable! At SJR, we want decisions to be made with, for and by refugees.
Rocky Robenson

One of the key features of the Refugee Committee is its emphasis on inclusivity. Members are encouraged to share their unique perspectives, drawing from their diverse experiences. This inclusive approach strengthens the sense of community and collective responsibility, fostering a collaborative environment in which decisions are made. The Refugee Committee reflects the organization’s commitment to empowerment and inclusivity.

By providing a democratic space for refugees to actively participate in decision-making processes, the JRS ensures that the people it serves are not just recipients of aid but active participants in shaping their destinies. This model could serve as inspiration for organizations working in the field of refugee support, highlighting the transformative potential of amplifying the voices of those directly affected by displacement.