We are all experiencing grief, hope and solidarity. Some of us have lost loved ones to COVID-19; others are struggling with our health; and many face serious economic hardship. Yet, as a testament to the resiliency of people, we are also witnessing many acts of self-sacrifice and generosity among essential workers and neighbours. We are redefining the meaning of community.
COVID-19 has affected us all, but especially those who live in the margins of society anywhere in the world. The experience of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America is compounded by daunting challenges: physical distancing in crowded slums and refugee camps; washing hands regularly when water is scarce; a weak healthcare system.
In the Global South, our Jesuit partner organizations and their staff show quiet heroism in protecting those most at risk. In South Sudan, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has closed schools but is engaged in a campaign to combat misinformation and to support prevention measures. The Xavier Jesuit School in Cambodia worries whether their school will ever open again due to financial uncertainty caused by this crisis. In Lebanon, JRS continues psychosocial support for refugees by using cellphones and WhatsApp. In India, St Alphonsus Social and Agricultural Centre (SASAC) has adopted families within their community to address issues of food insecurity brought about by the lockdown.
The pandemic has made clear that the world is truly interconnected and we are only as resilient as the most excluded and marginalized among us. It is a time when the words “love your neighbor as yourself” assume a whole new meaning. We are truly all in this together.
Please support CJI and our partners in the Global South with a generous donation so that they can provide medical equipment, hygiene items, basic foodstuffs, online educational programs, teaching materials for home, support for vulnerable families.
Your generosity offers hope to those most in need. As we navigate a new world of shared fears, grief and hope, let us stand in solidarity in facing this crisis.