Claver Network Meets in Rio de Janeiro

Directors from the Claver Network, which encompasses the Development Offices of the Jesuit Provinces and Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, met for their annual meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 28 to September 1. Among the topics discussed were best practices in international cooperation, a sharing of country-level fundraising experiences, and planning for the next triennium of work (2024-2026). At the conclusion of the Assembly, a new coordinator team was elected made up of representatives from Brazil, Peru, Cuba, and Mexico.

The Claver Network, which takes its name and inspiration from St. Peter Claver, was founded in 2009 in response to Father General Adolfo Nicolás Pachón SJ’s call to promote the creation of Development Offices in each of the Provinces and Regions that make up the Conference of Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL). The network brings together representatives from different countries with the common objectives of strengthening ties, sharing knowledge, and planning a future of collaboration and even more significant impact.

Magis Americas (MA) Executive Director Nate Radomski presents on the relationship between MA and CPAL.

To that end, one of the most interesting moments of the meeting was the sharing of fundraising experiences from each participant. Each director shared their province or network’s organizational model, successful experiences in fundraising, and challenges they have faced or foresee occurring in the future. The experience allowed for a fruitful discussion and allowed for countries to identify their commonalities and where they can learn from each other.

Following the first three days of work, the network held its Assembly to elect a new coordinator team, which will be charged with developing a three-year work plan. Leading the network for 2024-2026 will be representatives from Brazil (Luciana Mendes), Cuba (Any Laura Díaz), Mexico (Jorge Rosas), and Peru (Gianfranco Dulanto).

Participating were member representatives from Development Offices of Central America, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Paraguay, Venezuela and Brazil, as well as the International Federation of Fe y Alegría. Additionally, the meeting counted on the presence of Fr. Rafael Garrido SJ (CPAL President), Fr. Mieczyslaw Smyda SJ (Brazil Provincial), Fr. Alex Pizarro SJ (Haiti), and Nate Radomski (Magis Americas Executive Director).

The five days of meeting, full of productive working sessions, helped to build the network’s common mission. The date and location of the next meeting is to be determined.

Magis Americas and JRS/USA commend US Commitment to Vulnerable Venezuelans

On March 17, 2023, Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a public statement announcing that the United States Government will commit over $170 million to respond to the needs of vulnerable Venezuelans through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Magis Americas and Jesuit Refugee Service – USA (JRS/USA) strongly support this commitment and recognize the continued solidarity of the State Department with vulnerable Venezuelans, both in Venezuela and throughout the region.

Last week, Magis Americas and the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) joined a number of organizations and networks of the Society of Jesus to call on the international community to respond to the humanitarian crisis that has displaced more than 7 million Venezuelans. The International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants, which was held on March 16 and 17 in Brussels, provided a space to discuss the progress made over the last seven years but also recognize the need for continued aid for this vulnerable population. In our joint positioning statement ahead of this conference, Jesuit organizations and networks, in addition to the Red Clamor, identified three key areas that are essential to a holistic response to this ongoing crisis: Humanitarian attention and emergency response, Migratory regularization, integration and access to human rights, and International Funding.

While U.S. Government support is essential to providing aid for vulnerable Venezuelans, we urge the U.S. to take seriously the implications of U.S. migratory regulations, integration programs, and support for human rights claims of displaced Venezuelans. In particular, we consider the Biden Administration’s newly proposed asylum policy that stands in contrast to this generous support for migrants and refugees in the region. We must be willing to respond to this ongoing crisis with meaningful reform to the migration and asylum policies of the U.S. Government as well as significant humanitarian aid.  

We commend the U.S. for its continued support of humanitarian programs and direct aid to Venezuelans who remain at risk in their home country and those who have been displaced by this crisis and we invite the international community to respond in kind. We also reaffirm our commitment to accompany vulnerable Venezuelans, in Venezuela and throughout the region, to ensure the respect of human rights, including access to quality and inclusive education. At the same time, Magis Americas and JRS/USA will continue to demand meaningful action on immigration policies that ignore the needs of migrants and refugees from Venezuela throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as here in the U.S.   

Fe y Alegría participates in Harvard Conference on Educational Equality


On April 15th, I had the opportunity to participate as a panelist in the Latin American Education Forum, Master of Educational Policies of Harvard University, in Boston, Massachusetts. The specific panel which I was part of was called “Education in the light of migration” and I shared the presentation with others from Central America and the United States, among them Daniel Sass, English teacher and Katia Miranda, student from El Salvador, both representing “The International High School”, a new school attended by undocumented migrant students and which will have continuous education every year. Dr. Nelson Portillo, from Boston College, who has had experience as consultant for violence prevention in El Salvador, also participated in this panel.

We were asked very interesting questions: How did our interest in migration issues arise? What educational policies have emerged in our countries regarding migration? What can we do as an institution to solve the migration problem and what do we recommend that students of this master do, so they can generate policies allowing the assimilation and standardization of educational processes of migrant students in the United States?

For my part, I shared that being a Nicaraguan immigrant’s daughter, I have been linked to the subject of migration since birth, and due to the internal armed conflict in Guatemala and the xenophobia against the Nicaraguans in the 80s, I had to migrate with my family to Nicaragua and then return, that is to say, I had lived through migration processes since childhood… but my main interest arose when working in Fe y Alegría, getting to know children of migrants and their learning difficulties, family restructuring and how this affected them emotionally and educationally. Also, I told them about our mission, who we are and where we are, the federative plan, the new frontiers and lines of action focused on attention to migrants to promote their social integration, through the alliances with Jesuit Migrant Service and their support in education processes on issues related to migration.

On the question of policies for inclusion of migrants in the educational system, I told them that in Latin America the development on the issue has been precarious, an almost non-existent subject, Despite the fact that there are some countries addressing the issue from their constitutions and policies for migrants. I also mentioned the need to raise awareness among our governments, to share the vision that migration is beneficial rather than a problem, since the receipt of remittances are favoring the incomes of our countries…

Regarding the final question, I discussed the concern that causes me to talk about assimilation and standardization of educational process since this prevents learning from our people’s cultural wealth and limits the cultural identity of each person… I shared about the inclusive education approach, and I spoke about multiculturalism as a latent action in the US and also in culturally diverse countries and interculturality, as an action aimed to build more democratic countries.

The experience was very enriching, but from the beginning it seemed a huge challenge, as I was responsible for representing the Federation. I spent many stressful nights, I read a lot, talked to many people from SJM and with friends from other pro-migrant institutions, with people from the federation in order not to leave anything out of my paper…

I still have many challenges, to monitor the migration work in my country, to continue studying, research and to transmit knowledge to others so that this reality can change…

Post written by Blanca Gutierrez, Head of Social Promotion, International Federation of Fe y Alegría