Social Justice & Ecology

Responding to changing needs in Cambodian society

Banteay Prieb, a Jesuit vocational training centre in Cambodia, is launching an education program for people with intellectual disabilities next month.  The program, which begins with 11 students, builds on the centre’s 23 years of experience serving people with physical disabilities as a result of war, land mines, polio and accidents.

A Lenten proposal from Cambodia

The Jesuits in Cambodia have proposed a fast from pollution this Lent. Why pollution? Their response is that “Pollution weakens our bodies and makes us vulnerable to many diseases such as diarrhoea, chest infections, cancers, respiratory and heart diseases. And the people most likely to be affected first are the poor, due to their already limited access to clean water, clean food and clean air. The poor suffer first.”

In support of this, they provide the following facts:

An unlikely moneyman in the delta

At Kanyintabin village, a community nestled on the bank of the vast Pyamalaw River, Jesuit Scholastic Cyril Nay Myo Htet, better known as Phocho, sat down with a group of farmers on a hot December afternoon, a mug of sweetened instant coffee in his hand. This was the time of the year when they harvested the yields of their toil and sweat.

Providing much needed support for asylum seekers

Jesuit Refugee Service Australia has opened a new drop-in centre to address a lack of asylum seeker services in Western Sydney. The project is the result of a needs assessment undertaken by JRS in 2014, which found that the region is home to New South Wales’ second-largest group of asylum seekers arriving by boat and living on bridging visas.

Collaborating for prayer and action on the climate crisis

A global movement of Catholics working together on climate issues was launched on January 14 with a statement presented to Pope Francis during his papal visit to the Philippines.

Prayers for peace for Jeju Island

Resistance to the construction of a naval base at Gangjeong on Jeju Island, South Korea continues although the base is already under construction.  The Jeju Volcanic Island and  Lava Tubes are a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The most recent significant effort was the Gangjeong Peace Conference and Peace Festival organized by the Jesuit Research Centre for Advocacy and Solidarity (JAS) at the Seoguipo Catholic Parish and Gangjeong Villag

Casa Bayanihan: Education rooted in reality

The Jesuit-run University of San Francisco has been running an alternative study abroad program based in Metro Manila, the Philippines.  Casa Bayanihan is a semester-long program rooted in the Jesuit tradition, conceived initially for undergraduates in Jesuit universities in the United States.

Continuing to hope

Although Typhoon Hagupit – known as Ruby in the Philippines – is reported to have taken   only a handful of lives, for thousands of people in the country, it was still a sort of repeat of Typhoon Haiyan, which had torn through the Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,000 dead or missing.  "It's déjà vu, but not the same as last year with Haiyan," a Tacloban resident Mariano Tan Jr told the BBC.

Church for Atitjere community opens

Jesuit Social Services (JSS) recently organised the opening and blessing of the Atitjere Church, a project it co-facilitated in the Sandover region of Australia’s Northern Territory.  JSS’ involvement in the project stems back to 2012, when its Central Australian team was invited to visit the Atitjere community, 215 kilometres from Alice Springs at the foot of Mount Palmer.

That justice may flower

Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia has released a video about its mission of accompaniment.   To accompany means “To be a friend, to walk alongside, to share stories, to learn from one another, to care,” it explains.

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