Asia Pacific - Social Apostolate annual meeting in Manila
The annual Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific Social Apostolate took place in Manila from August 18 to 22. Social enterprises were the focus of this year's meeting, and over the course of four days, the 40 participants from 12 countries learned about the concept, heard several testimonies and visited a number of such enterprises in and around Manila. Among these the Rags2Riches, workshop in Payatas, that produces bags made by the nanays (mothers) who live with their families in a Manila dumpsite.
The Rag2Riches brand was launched in 2007 and the nanays are now part of a company that sells high-end bags made of rags, a social enterprise. Read more...
Mexico - Latin American network of Indigenous solidarity
The network of Indigenous solidarity of the Society of Jesus in Latin America, held its biannual meeting at Tarahumara Mountains in Mexico between August 4-10. For the occasion, 55 persons, Jesuits and lay collaborators from indigenous communities from Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico, came together to share their experiences. This year's issue focused on the theme of "Spirituality and resilience of ancestral cultures". The result of this meeting is a document, entitled Tarahumara Declaration. Read the declaration in Spanish
India - Province social coordinators decide to network on two Rights issues
The Province coordinators of Social Apostolate and the directors of two Indian Social Institutes chose Right to Food - known as National Food Security Act [NFSA] - and Right to Education as the two major common issues for networking in all the Provinces of South Asia. The participants came together for a 2-day consultation in Bangalore, on 22 and 23 July, with the purpose of drawing-up a strategic action plan that pertains to the entire assistancy, for networking on one particular issue initially. The team has decided to come together once again in November - after due consultation at the local/province level - to finalize and prepare a concrete working plan for the next three years.
USA - Just Sustainability: hope for the commons
On August 7-9 the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability based in Seattle University held a Conference on Just Sustainability. The Conference focused on the intimate connections between environmental justice and sustainability. Attendees had a unique opportunity to connect with researchers, businesses, and communities that are bringing Environmental Justice Sustainability issues to the fore of public discourse. Contents of the Conference can be found here
GNMR Update - Responding to equity and sustainability concerns
The first issue of the GNMR Update, an e-newsletter that shares the work and activities of the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) Network, was released this month. The GNMR Network is a network of Jesuit organizations and individuals working to address issues of equity and sustainability in the governance of natural and mineral resources.
The GNMR network is one of five global Ignatian advocacy networks (GIAN) established after the General Congregation (GC) 35, held in 2008. Africa - AJAN containing the spread of Ebola
The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) is getting involved in efforts to stop Ebola by providing culturally sensitive information that is urgently needed to contain the swift expansion of the virus. They plan to distribute education materials in countries neighbouring those already affected, such as Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cameroon. In a second phase, they will accompany their intervention with workshops and training-of-trainers. Read more...
Europe - Immigration detention
Report written after SJM (Jesuit Service to Migrants in Spain) and JRS-Europe's visits to the Northern African cities of Nador (Morocco) and Melilla (Spain): a really hot spot in terms of Human Rights of migrants and refugees. The report proposes some concrete steps for Europe-Africa Jesuit collaboration at the Northern African borders. Both the Spanish original and the English version can be found here
Asia Pacific - Creating a migration network
A network on migration has been formed within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, comprising Jesuit institutions working on the issue - Tokyo Migrant Desk in Japan, Yiutsari in Korea, Rerum Novarum Centre in Taiwan, UGAT Foundation in the Philippines, Sahabat Insan in Indonesia, JRS Asia Pacific, and Jesuit Social Services Australia. Fr Benny Juliawan SJ, the Conference's Coordinator for Migration and Secretary for Social Ministries, convened the network's inaugural meeting in Jakarta from June 3 to 6. He said that the meeting aimed at two general objectives: (1) to recognise the current state of the migration services in JCAP; and (2) to kick start common programmes for the next three years. Read more...
Europe - Social Week, volunteering and the public good
The Jesuit Social Apostolate in Europe organized the Social Week 2014 from 24th to 28th in Naples (Italy) with the participation of Jesuits, staff and volunteers from many different works. With the theme "Volunteering and the Public Good: Commitment for an Active Citizenship". It has been a great opportunity for those involved in Jesuit social ministries in Europe to come together in order to share the Ignatian vision and our common commitment to promote faith and justice. More information and used materials.
India - Jesuit Social Centre nominated to monitor Food Distribution in the State
Udayani Social Action Forum, the Jesuit social centre of Calcutta Province, an active member of the Right to Food network, both at State and National level, has been re-appointed as NGO representatives of the Monitoring and Vigilance Committee for Public Distribution System (PDS) in two Districts and four sub-divisions in West Bengal as per the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The 12-member team, including 2 from Udayani, decided to take up the fact-finding visit after deaths were reported in at least two closed tea gardens of north Bengal. The team found 3 workers on deathbed due to lack of food and claim that there has been large scale migration and trafficking of women.Rea
India - Darjeeling Jesuits to the rescue of starving tea estate workers
A Jesuit team from Darjeeling is providing food and health care to the starving workers of an owner-abandoned tea plantation in India's West Bengal state. "We are focusing our work on the plantation in Dharanipur, the smallest, where there are 98 families and about 550 people in total. Attempts are also underway to make use of government resources and involve NGOs involved in the fight against human trafficking, because we have no news about a dozen young women from this area who had left for Delhi and other major cities looking for work," said Fr. Lalit Tirkey SJ, the director of Jesuit Social apostolate in Darjeeling. Read more...
Latin America - Meeting of the Jesuit Network for Migrants (RJM)
The annual meeting of the Southern Region of the Jesuit Network for Migrants in Latin America (RJM) was held in Antofagasta, Chile. There were representatives from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. They had the opportunity to inaugurate the new office in Antofagasta. They made a follow up of the different areas in which the network focuses: socio-pastoral, research, advocacy and communication inside the network. Finally they also spoke about the different initiatives they are developing in their countries to support the campaign that promotes the culture of hospitality, which is being held in all the Latin American Conference. Read more...
Latin America - Meeting of Directors of Social Centres and Social Coordinators
From June 23 - 28 the Directors of Social Centres and the Social Coordinators in Latin America gathered together in Santiago, Chile, for their annual meeting. They shared information about the common activities they are involved in: network for migrants, advocacy initiatives, schools for citizenship, alternative models of development, network for indigenous peoples. They spent one morning exchanging about the situation of the extractive activities in their countries, which are a source of conflict directly affecting the poor communities Jesuits accompany all over the region. The group was also able to visit the social works of the Society in Chile, as well as the Sanctuary of St Hurtado, who was an apostle of a faith that does justice. Read more...
US - Mario Serrano, SJ honoured for work with Stateless Dominicans
On June 19, the eve of the United Nations' World Refugee Day, Mario Serrano, SJ was honoured with the Second Annual Fr. Gerald Chojnacki, SJ Faith and Justice Award. Fr. Serrano was honored for his dedication to organizing and providing legal assistance to Dominican-born persons of Haitian descent, a group recently threatened with statelessness due to a Dominican Constitutional Court decision in late 2013. Read more...
US - Renovated Jesuit Warming Center inaugurated
After 25 years of direct service to low income and homeless in downtown Detroit, the renovated Warming Center was inaugurated on June 29, the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, which is based at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit parish. The renovation allows a significant scale up in capacity and services to the homeless guests it serves on a daily basis. Major benefactors include collaborative support by the United Auto Workers and Ford. Fr. Adolfo Nicolas sent a letter to mark the occasion quoting Pope Francis's recent remarks during a visit to a homeless shelter in Rome, "To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but something profoundly concrete." Ss. Peter and Paul is the birthplace of all Jesuit ministries in Detroit 16
Afghanistan JRS Country director kidnapped 34km from Herat city
On June 2 afternoon Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) country director, Alexis Prem Kumar SJ - 47 year old Indian national - was abducted by a group of unidentified men in western Afghanistan. Prem Kumar had accompanied teachers on a visit to a JRS-supported school for the returnee refugees in Sohadat township, 34 km from the city of Herat. He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat. "We are deeply shocked by Prem's abduction. We are in contact with all the relevant authorities and doing everything possible to ensure his safe and speedy return. Meanwhile, our prayers are with Prem and his family and friends at this difficult time", said JRS International Director, Peter Balleis SJ. Read more...
Rome - New Promotio Iustitiae: "Decree 4 (1975) on Faith and Justice: Looking towards 40th year
In 2015, as we will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Decree 4 (GC 32), it will be an ideal moment to contemplate serenely the changes we have seen. For this issue of Promotio (no. 115) we have asked some of the protagonists of these changes to tell us what this decree has meant for the life of the Society and to evaluate the situation in which we find ourselves today. This issue therefore seeks to make an initial assessment of this ongoing process, and we hope that it will be useful to all the provinces and conferences as they undertake their own reflection on this topic during the coming year. This issue will be released during this month of June. If you have not subscribed yet, click here.
Philippines - Conference of Transformative Land and Water Governance
Recent events related to climate change in Asia Pacific, including natural disasters, pose serious questions to us. Can we really continue with the way we treat the planet and its resources? Land and water are two very crucial resources which define human existence and therefore require careful governance. The ESSC (Environmental Science for Social Change) together with CUD, Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on Ecology and the Asia Pacific ecology group held the Conference on Transformative Land and Water Governance in Malaybalay City, Mindanao, The Philippines on 21 to 23 May 2014. The conference explored land and water governance in the context of three different themes: sustainability science; local wisdom, risk resilience and adaptation; youth and values. For more of this conference North America - Jesuits initiate shareholder dialogue with Canadian mining company
Led by the provinces of Wisconsin and English Canada, the National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility (NJCIR) will begin a new shareholder engagement with Canadian mid-tier mining company Aura Minerals regarding the need to develop a comprehensive, verifiable and transparent human rights policy. Read more...
India - Training on Socio-cultural analysis at ISI-Bangalore
A 15-day Socio-Cultural Analysis training was held at Indian Social Institute, Bangalore from 29 April to 13 May. Nineteen Participants from all over the country attended this training. Aimed at imparting an understanding of the Indian society and its current challenges, the course exposed the various tools of analysis and a critical understanding of Indian society from the perspectives of Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, and also from liberal and neo-liberal perspectives. Read more...