Thank you to all participants, donors and volunteers who helped make CJI’s Giving Tuesday “JUST Communities” campaign a success! Numerous campaign events were held in Ottawa, St John’s and Toronto in November 2019.
JUST Communities highlighted the work of our community partners in the Global South and their effort to strengthen just relationships among people and with nature. These partnerships help communities resist exploitative economic systems and put people before profits.
Fr Arturo Estrada SJ, Director of the Bachajón Jesuit Mission in Chiapas, Mexico, engaged in a conversation with the general public in three events in Ottawa, St John’s and Toronto: More than coffee: Cultivating dignity and justice in Chiapas.
Fr Arturo also presented to students in St John’s and Hamilton during Youth for Others Social Justice Days.
Three projects were highlighted during this campaign:
1. Mexico: Comparte
The Jesuit Mission of Bachajón has been accompanying the Tseltal-Maya community for over 60 years in their journey to autonomy and transmission of culture to new generations. The innovative projects of this community include: 1) promoting land ownership, food security, and fair wages; 2) advocating for socio-political self-governance consistent with the values of the Tseltal culture; and 3) strengthening of the Indigenous church through synthesis with the Mayan Rite and greater roles for lay people.
2. India: Jesu Ashram
Jesu Ashram is a health care facility that serves poor and marginalized people suffering from diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis and HIV. They tend to face stigma and are treated as outcasts in their communities. Jesu Ashram offers them a welcoming home of love, acceptance and healing. Jesu Ashram also has a nursing program that trains young women from poor families who then find employment in other health facilities.
3. South Sudan: JRS Education Program
The Education Program of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in South Sudan operates in six schools in the city of Yambio and Maban county. The project provides meals and other essential items to children suffering from the effects of war and displacement in their country in a safe environment. The program has improved the education and health services in these areas by: 1) attracting and retaining youth in schools; and 2) relieving pressure on their families that are having difficulty providing for their children. This project has had a positive and life changing impact on the lives of displaced youth and their families.