Democratic Republic of Congo - Initiative against weapons fuelling crisis in Great Lakes Region
From 24 to 28 March 2013, the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN), the Jesuit African Social Centers Network (JASCNET), the Jesuit Refugee Service Great Lakes, the Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa, the African Jesuit Aids Network (AJAN), and the Hekima Institute of Peace and International Relations (HIPSIR), met in Nairobi to explore joint advocacy actions to address the conflict in the Great Lakes Region. The initiative is part of the GIAN Peace and Human Rights Network.
Since almost twenty years, conflicts and wars affected millions of women, children and men in the Great Lakes. Only in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) two million people are continuing to suffer from massive displacement and daily human rights violations in the Great Lakes, such as sexual and gender-based violence and recruitment of child soldiers.
Despite some relevant international initiatives to address the conflict (mainly led by the United Nations and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region) no significant step forward has been taken in eradicating the root causes of the conflict. Daily reality in the region continues to be characterized by deaths and massive human rights violations against the population and by expensive emergency responses conducted by the humanitarian organizations.
The Jesuit institutions who met in Nairobi strongly feel that the time has now come to effectively advocate for the end of the conflict. Therefore, they agreed on collaborating among themselves and on unifying efforts to design a common advocacy strategy. For more information...
Asia Pacific - Reconciliation with Creation task force
In conjunction with World Water Day on March 22, the Reconciliation with Creation task force in Asia Pacific conference has called for Jesuits and collaborators to be more aware of our responsibility to the world that God created. The need to focus on water is clear as 2013 has also been declared by the United Nations as the Year of Water Cooperation. "Through Healing a Broken World, Fr General Adolfo Nicolás SJ asked Jesuits and our institutions to understand our relationship with our environment as both ecological and sacred, calling for greater responsibility and reconciliation," said Fr Pedro Walpole SJ, Coordinator for Reconciliation with Creation. This initiative is linked to the GIAN Ecology network.Read more...
Situation analysis of Latin America - An evaluation of democracy in the region
Centro Gumilla (Caracas - Venezuela) has recently published the last analysis of the situation of Latin America, focusing in this occasion on the democratic health of the region. These analyses are a joint effort of the social centers in Latin America that appear every three months. This last analysis condenses two chapters of an investigation by José Virtuoso SJ and Ángel Álvarez. Download here...
AJAN - Moving towards regional advocacy
Seventeen Jesuits and colleagues involved in AIDS ministry came together from 10 sub-Saharan African countries for the AJAN advocacy meeting that was held from 2 to 5 March at the Emmaus Spiritual Centre in Bujumbura, Burundi. Although individual Jesuits and projects are already advocating at local and national level, AJAN now wants to implement regionally coordinated campaigns. "Through its different projects, AJAN is better placed to be in it for the long haul, to do this work that calls for courage and competence," said one participant, Fr Jean-Simon Ratsimbazafy SJ, who runs an AIDS project in an isolated rural district of Madagascar. The meeting aimed and managed to develop shared advocacy plans for three focus areas: access to treatment, orphans and vulnerable children and sexual and gender-based violence. Read more...
GIAN Ecology - Water for all
The world is again recognizing water as the basis of all life. Water for all is an integrated worldview of human development and care for the environment, rather than a fragmented use of resources. The big challenge is in securing the basic water needs for the many who do not have access and for business to grow in responsibility as it increasingly realizes the value of water in sustaining production. The GIAN Ecology Network is collecting experiences from the different regions. The challenge is for all to network and cooperate to form a worldview of human development and care for creation. With this, Jesuit people are encouraged to: a) collaborate with others on water clean up, b) support students' efforts and youth involvement in responsible water use, c) share with EcoJesuit (www.ecojesuit.com) initiatives and materials developed on water cooperation. Read more...
US - Immigration Reform Hearing on April 10
Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), a bi-national humanitarian ministry of the Society of Jesus, testified at a public hearing of Congress about immigration reform on April 10, 2013. Fr. Carroll spoke about the human cost of the current immigration system witnessed by staff and volunteers who serve at Kino Border Initiative's Aid Center for Deported Migrants. According to Jesuit Conference policy director, this is a big opportunity for members of Congress to make their voices heard, especially those with large numbers of immigrant constituents, those serving districts located directly on the border, and those with strong feelings surrounding the issue. Read more...
GIAN Education - Global Campaign for education
Since 2000, the world has made good progress in getting tens of millions of children into school - but in 2008, that progress stopped. Today, 132 million children remain out of primary and lower secondary school, with little or no hope of ever learning how to read or write, with little or no hope of breaking the cycle of poverty. There is a need to make sure each and every one of these children has access to a trained teacher. However, there is an acute shortage of teachers. To get every child into primary school, we need 1.7 million more teachers, 1 million more in Africa alone. In addition, each new teacher, and each existing teacher, needs to be ensured that has quality initial and ongoing training. The GIAN education network is promoting the global campaign for education during the Global Action Week, 21 - 27 April 2013. Read more...
South Asia - Orientation Statement of Jesuits in Social Action
Thirty Jesuits of India with some of their collaborators, invited by the JESA Secretariat, met from 15th to 17th March 2013 at the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, to deliberate on the future of their mission in the changed environment of the Indian state and to identify areas and methodologies for effective interventions and collaboration with institutions, movements, citizens and civil society. After the meeting they have issued an orientation statement of Jesuits in Social Action where they speak about the challenging context, the disturbing concerns that arise, they share some realities that they find as signs of hope and they propose some strategies for action. Read more...
South Asia - Deliberation for Social Action
This March Jesuits involved in Social Action in the South Asian Conference are deliberating to find a framework for Social Action. The objectives of the deliberation are: i. To analyze the present state of affairs of social action and identify the causes for the same, ii. To recognize the challenges and the opportunities facing the SA ministry in the present socio-political and economic context, iii. To come out with e a framework for our response (Action Plan). This framework could then provide a guideline for zonal / province level deliberation in order to develop concrete plan of action for the next five years. Read more...
Australia - Mission among Indigenous people
(Mar-18-2013) Forty years after the Jesuits re-established their mission among Indigenous people at Balgo, Australian Provincial Fr Steve Curtin SJ has sent a letter to the Province saying that the Jesuits' commitment to Indigenous ministry remains strong. The letter marks the anniversary of the mission's founding, and encourages people to continue to deepen their engagement with Indigenous people. Around this time, forty years ago, Fr Peter Kelly, as Provincial, decided to mission Pat Mullins and Brian McCoy to Balgo Mission as part of their regency. This was a new and challenging decision for the Australian Province. The letter can be read here...
Spain - Seminar on Ignatian Leadership and Social Justice
From February 12 to 15, executives of Jesuit Universities in Europe and America took part in a seminar-workshop in Bilbao on Ignatian Leadership and Social Justice. This seminar was a joint effort of the Centre for Applied Ethics of Deusto, UNIJES (Spanish Jesuit Universities) and AUSJAL (Latin American Jesuit Universities). Click here to find all the videos of the seminar...
Kenya - Hekima Theological and Peace-building Symposium
(Mar-18-2013) This month the Hekima College is running the Hekima Theological and Peace-building Symposium with this year's theme being: "Ethnic Identity: Pathways to Development and International Peace". Both the timing and the theme of the symposium could not be more propitious. Hopefully, the reflections and insights from this symposium, which takes place within a fortnight to general elections in Kenya, may assist in making this year's election far more peaceful than the 2007 general election, which unfortunately was marred by ethnic-based violence.