The St. Alphonsus Social and Agricultural Centre (SASAC) and the Society of Jesus Agricultural and Social Institute (SOJASI) were both founded by Canadian Jesuit Fr Murray Abraham in 1975 and 2010, respectively. They share the same objective, vision and conviction that poverty, unemployment and hunger are root causes of many problems families face in rural Kurseong, India. Today SASAC and SOJASI operate under one banner as SASAC/SOJASI and continue to believe that people have the right to have a dignified life, through education (formal and non-formal), housing, vocational/ training program in agriculture, livelihood support and health.
SASAC/SOJASI runs economic, livelihood, social, educational and environmental programs to address the needs of marginalized people, empower them and help care for our common home. Their economic and livelihood programs include square metre vegetable gardens (smvg), dairy farms, piggeries, mushroom cultivation and weaving. These projects are supplemented by educational programs such as study centres for children in rural areas, vocational training, computer training, winter coaching classes and a hostel for students.
SASAC/SOJASI’s social programs focuses on medical health, good hygiene, legal aid and human rights, awareness of human trafficking and Bal Panchayat (children’s parliament). SASAC/SOJASI’s environmental programs include: tree planting, social forestry, and protecting and preserving water sources.
SASAC/SOJASI has helped generations of women, men, youth and children in the communities they work with. Every year, 300 women participate in the livelihood program; 500 school children attend their educational program; 23 members of the community with mental and physical impairments are included in the education and livelihood programs; and 100 unemployed youth are encouraged through skills training.
Canadian Jesuits International has been supporting SASAC/SOJASI since its foundation in 1975.
Director: Pramod Dabhi SJ
Visit the Darjeeling Jesuits’ website: http://www.darjeelingjesuits.org
Read the latest SASAC/SOJASI newsletter: Apr-Jun 2021
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