BY ISN STAFF | July 14, 2016
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) recently announced that it has joined the Tent Alliance, a partnership of major companies and nonprofit groups dedicated to helping refugees worldwide, with an ultimate goal of finding solutions to end the global refugee crisis. The partnership will allow JRS to develop relationships with key private and nonprofit partners in a wide range of sectors – including education, health care, professional services, travel and tourism, information technology, logistics and consumer goods – to leverage our collective expertise to help address the refugee crisis.
Launched earlier this year at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Tent Alliance is an initiative of the Tent Foundation, founded by Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of the yogurt company Chobani. The Tent Alliance – with corporate partners that include IBM, MasterCard, Airbnb, Western Union and Johnson & Johnson – is committed to supporting efforts such as direct donations or in-kind support to refugee relief organizations, generating employment opportunities for refugees, and shaping supply chains from vendors that employ or support refugees.
“We look forward to working together with Tent Alliance partners and applaud Hamdi Ulukaya’s dedication to addressing the current refugee crisis.”
Armando Borja, Jesuit Refugee Service North America
“We look forward to working together with Tent Alliance partners and applaud Hamdi Ulukaya’s dedication to addressing the current refugee crisis,” said Armando Borja, Regional Director for Jesuit Refugee Service North America.
JRS works in more than 45 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. The scale of this humanitarian crisis is staggering: 65 million people – one in every 122 individuals on earth – is a refugee. More than half are women and children; at least 30 million are under the age of 18. JRS believes that education – which is the cornerstone of our mission – is a life-saving humanitarian intervention, and is dedicated to educating refugee children and young adults through programs from pre-primary through tertiary school as well as vocational and skills-based training.
The unprecedented scale of the current refugee crisis – the largest displacement of people since World War II – has tested the limits of the global humanitarian community, and the ability of refugees to access quality education. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, refugee children are five times less likely to go to school than their non-refugee peers.
To help address this education gap, JRS launched its Global Education Initiative in 2015 (WATCH video about initiative) with an aim to double the number of refugees it educates by 2020. Joining the Tent Alliance will complement this initiative and help JRS develop long-term solutions to address educational challenges by mobilizing innovation, ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit, networks, and resources.
In 2015, Ulukaya pledged the majority of his wealth to end the forced displacement of people everywhere and to uplift the lives of refugees, helping them realize their full potential. He founded the Tent Foundation which seeks to improve the lives and livelihoods of the forcibly displaced by funding direct assistance, investing in innovation and promoting policies and partnerships to help the displaced.