Workshops description

1. Refugees and Forced Migration- JRS

Restrictions faced by persons to their freedom of movement can have many implications and effects to a large extend their enjoyment of other fundamental rights. For refugees and migrants restriction to the freedom of movement already often begins in their country of origin, have large impact on their flight and the restrictions often continue in the country of asylum. You can discuss freedom of movement in the light of refugees and displaced persons from different angles and you can focus on many issues. For the workshop we have decided to deal with three aspects of freedom of movement (or lack of).

Every day we plan to have two speakers. The main speakers will present the topic and the problems/issues arising. This speaker will address the issue from a social aspect. The second speaker will address the issues from a theological point of view incorporating reflections of the Ignatian spirituality. There will also be a refugee giving some information on real-life experience. Also the end of the session will be devoted to solution of the problems and how the wider Ignatian Family can better respond.

2. HIV/AIDS- AJAN

AJAN proposes three workshops on AIDS in Africa. The Ignatian spirituality is that of a frontier Jesuit apostolate. “Human life, a gift of God, has to be respected from its beginning to its natural end. Yet we are increasingly being faced with a ‘culture of death’ which encourages … AIDS, and poverty. We need to encourage a ‘culture of life’” (GC34, D.3, n.8). “In many parts of the world, even in the most developed countries, economic and social forces are excluding millions of people from the benefits of society. E.g., those afflicted with AIDS are condemned to lives of dire poverty, social marginalization and precarious cultural existence. They require of us the attention which our biblical tradition demands for ‘the orphans, widows and strangers in your midst’” (n.15).

3. Conflict, War and Peace- Hekima Peace Institute.

Africa is today defined by three periods of political transitions that call for the articulation of a faith that does justice. The first setting is marked by the structural injustices that are manifested in the marginalisation of the poor, lack of employment, unequal distribution of wealth and poor governance. The second is the conflict setting that is represented by several countries and regions in conflict such as northern Uganda, Darfur region, Ivory Coast, and others. The third comprises countries in transition from conflict to post-conflict reconstruction, at either early or advanced stages. Such countries include Sudan, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazaville, Rwanda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, etc. As Ignatian Family we are challenged to reflect seriously on the role of the Church in transforming structures of injustice, mediation during conflicts and supporting and encouraging post-conflict efforts to restore peace and prevent future conflicts. The Church has the primary task of witnessing to the Kingdom of God here on earth and making it a visible reality.

4. Debt, Trade and Governance: the international development agenda- IJND

Debt, trade and governance are the three topics that have become central in development debates and practice currently. Specially in the case of Africa, the three topics have grown all the more relevant in order to tackle poverty. Governments, International Bodies and Civil Society Organisations have their own vision and proposals on how to solve the debt trap, how to put trade at the service of human development and how to make governance work for the poor. In this seminar we will analyse the current debates from a civil society perspective, in the light of the Catholic Social Teaching and Ignatian Spirituality. In a participatory way, we will develop ways of better networking in these areas, both as Ignatian Family, and as members of a broader international civil society.

5. Management and Depletion of Natural Resources- CEPAS/CEFOD

Africa is a continent blessed by God »: thus goes the common thought. As a matter of fact, the Creator has given to Africa not only valuable people, but also immense natural resources (oil, coltan, diamond, etc.). Some African countries (e.g. the Democratic Republic of Congo), are rightly seen as a “geological scandal”. One would then expect that sons and daughters of Africa would benefit from these resources in order to have a good and dignified life of God’s children and to reconstruct their continent.

Unfortunately, one realizes that these resources have never been for the benefit of sons and daughters of Africa. Worse, one is tempted to say that instead of being source of benediction, these resources have become the source of malediction and source of bloody conflict.

This workshop intends to achieve two goals: First, to point out the shameful looting of African natural resources and, second, to advocate for the trial of all those who were or/and are involved in this looting that causes pain and death in Africa.

 


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