Jesuit Network with Migrants – LAC Assembly Reaffirms “No One Should Be Excluded”

The Jesuit Network with Migrants – LAC (RJM-LAC) held its first Continental Assembly in three years under the slogan “The future will be one of hope if we build it together.” The assembly, which brought together individuals from over 80 educational institutions, parishes, and organizations, was held in Bogotá, Colombia from November 7-11, 2022. Magis Americas, in addition to other Xavier Network members Canadian Jesuits International, ALBOAN, and Entreculturas, participated as an invited guest.

On the final day of the assembly, RJM-LAC proposed and approved a statement which calls on all actors, from civil society to States and UN bodies, to ensure the rights and dignity of migrants in the Americas. In the statement RJM-LAC:

  • Demands States to respect and guarantee the human rights and dignity of migrants, restoring the right to asylum and promoting realistic alternatives for migratory regularization that facilitate regional integration and access to rights for migrants.
  • Calls on United Nations agencies to strengthen their mandate to articulate a comprehensive response.
  • Urges international cooperation agencies to support and promote local agendas that respond to the real needs of migrants and their families.
  • Calls on civil society to understand the positive role of migration in communities.

RJM-LAC also uses the statement as an opportunity to publicly reaffirm its commitment, and the commitment of its members, to “boldly and creatively … welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants”. Specifically, RJM-LAC commits to:

  • Strengthen closeness and accompaniment to migrants and their families, promoting their leadership in the transformation proposals towards a migration with dignity.
  • Promote actions of solidarity, hospitality, and reconciliation in the communities that eradicate racism, discrimination, and xenophobia.
  • Influence to transform those policies that hurt the human family represented in migrants and promote regional, national, and local migration governance with a human rights approach.
  • Promote a critical, deep, and close understanding of the migratory realities that call us.
  • Contribute generously to the interaction with other organizations and networks in which we share common horizons.

The statement closes with words from Pope Francis, who urged in the last World Day of Migrants and Refugees, in order to build a future of hope “no one should be excluded.”

Read the full statement here.

Source: Red Jesuita con Migrantes – LAC

New FIFyA General Coordinator Appointed

Father Dani Villanueva, SJ has been appointed as the new General Coordinator of the International Federation of Fe y Alegría. The president of the Conference of Provincials in Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL), Father Roberto Jaramillo, SJ, has made the appointment for the period 2023-2026.

Villanueva is a 49-year-old Spanish Jesuit priest who is very familiar with the educational mission of Fe y Alegría. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of ALBOAN and Entreculturas, the Spanish province’s two Jesuit development NGOs.

In addition to his current role, Villanueva has worked on various international initiatives with Fe y Alegría, contributing his knowledge to offer more and better resources to educational centers around the world.

“This is tremendous news,” said Nate Radomski, executive director of Magis Americas. “We congratulate Fe y Alegría on this decision. We look forward to our continued work and shared mission with Fe y Alegría and Dani in his new role.”

“We also want to take this moment to thank Fr. Carlos Fritzen, SJ for his seven years of service for FIFyA, as Fe y Alegría continued its growth across the globe,” Radomski added.

Fe y Alegría is a global movement with a shared mission, which is embodied in the vocation of thousands of men and women dedicated to offering popular education in the least favored sectors to transform lives. Fe y Alegría’s mission includes the aspirations for social transformation demanded by girls, boys, young people and families in situations of vulnerability in countries in Africa, America, Asia and Europe. In 2020, Fe y Alegría served over 935,800 individuals in its 1,592 education centers and 280 community centers located in 22 countries.

Fe y Alegría and Magis Americas have been strategic allies since the founding of Magis Americas in 2005, given the two institutions’ commitment to Ignatian identity and values, common goals, and shared mission and history.

The International Federation of Fe y Alegría was founded in 1986 to respond to the needs of the countries where Fe y Alegría was present, with the aim of integrating efforts, under common agreements and articulating the work for a more effective action at the service of the movement’s mission and vision.

The change of coordination will take place on April 1, 2023, after FIFyA’s annual assembly organized by Fe y Alegría in Honduras.

Source: Federación Internacional de Fe y Alegría

Xavier Network Directors Group Meets in Paris

Directors from the Xavier Network (XN), the network of Jesuit Mission Offices and development NGOs from Europe, Australia, and North America met in Paris from October 19-21 for one of its two annual meetings. Among the topics discussed were strengthening emergency response, child safeguarding, and the strategic directions of each member organization.

The Xavier Network, which takes its name and inspiration from St. Francis Xavier, was founded in 2004 under the simple principle “that by joining together we can achieve more.” Member organizations collaborate in four areas: response to humanitarian emergencies, advocacy, development projects, and overseas volunteer programs. While the network is under the responsibility of the European Conference of Provincials, it brings together Jesuit organizations from across the globe.

To that end, Fr. Joseph Seok SJ, director of GIPUM NANUM, a Jesuit mission and development organization in South Korea, participated in the meeting as a special guest. Fr Seok gave an overview of the work and challenges of its work in South Korea.

At the meeting, the XN continued its work on an emergency protocol which builds on the experience of the last 14 years responding to humanitarian emergencies as Jesuit organizations. Following a previous conversation with the Jesuit conference presidents, the XN has added an annex to the protocol, which proposes ways to coordinate with other Jesuit actors in the first phase of emergencies. Informing this document are lessons learned from past emergencies, most recently the current emergency in Ukraine.

One of the most interesting moments of the meeting was an open dialogue on the strategic direction of the 14 organizations that make up this network. Directors shared questions and reflections on the different organizational models that make up the network, how each embodies its Jesuit mission, and how each director visualizes their respective organizations over the next 10 years. The possibilities of networking and collaboration are immense as the group has already shown through its coordinated work on international projects, advocacy, emergency and volunteer work. This meeting served as an opportunity to continue strengthening those lines of work, as well as explore new ones such as recruitment and compliance.

Additionally, the issue of child safeguarding has been one of the keys of cooperation among network members in recent years. The evolution of this process has been important and all the organizations are now implementing basic requirements to ensure the safeguarding of children in all the projects financed by the network. A package of resource materials for partners and tools for validating implementation of procedures is now in place. Special attention is being given to the conversation with the directors of works, provincials, directors and with networks such as Fe y Alegría and Jesuit Refugee Service, which are key actors with which we collaborate. At each network meeting there is a detailed follow-up on the fulfillment of the commitments of each member of the network and the deployment in their projects and institutional relations.

The three days of meeting, full of productive working sessions, helped to build the network’s common mission. The many years of experience of this network are also noticeable in the deep relationships and friendship among members of the teams, which translates into a truly remarkable atmosphere of friendship and shared mission. Maison Lasalle in Paris, close to the Jesuit Curia and the Sevres Center, was perfect for this meeting. On Thursday evening we had the luxury of a memorable boat ride on the Seine, where we celebrated our bonds as a global group, committed to a mission that we are trying to energize together.

The next Directors Meeting will take place March 15-17 in London, UK.