“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.” - Isaiah 9:2
Jesus brings light to those who walk and live in darkness. This is our belief and the source of our hope and life. It is the promise of Christmas.
Darkness and light are central themes in the Bible. Light is associated with greater awareness, truth and justice – for those who do not see or those who are oppressed. Light brings freedom, liberation and wholeness.
In a world where many live in darkness because of poverty, violence, war and marginalization, the birth of Jesus brings a promise of healing and justice – a light that shines for all.
This Christmas, we reflect on the work of four partners in the Global South who fulfill God’s promise by shining light on those who live in darkness due to poverty, exclusion, and injustice. They do so by walking alongside them, by defending their human rights, by offering opportunities for education, by protecting the environment.
By supporting CJI you too are shining light on those who live in darkness. For this we are grateful.
Have a peaceful and holy Christmas!
1) AMAZON REGION: Pan-Amazon bicultural education
The fires in the Amazon caught the world’s attention this year, and raised concerns about its impact on climate change. Largely unnoticed was the plight of the Indigenous people who call this place home. The Jesuit Service for the Pan-Amazon Region (SJPAM) and Fe y Alegría have partnered with 26 local schools and communities in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela to affirm Indigenous identity and address environmental and social justice issues. CJI supports this project as our partners build solidarity and raise global awareness to care for our common home.
2) NEPAL: Moran Memorial School
Moran Memorial School serves poor children in Maheshpur, Nepal and others from neighbouring villages. CJI supports the Jesuit Moran Memorial School to help young people break out of poverty, isolation and dependency on the tea estates. The education, skills and confidence the youth develop create new opportunities for them and their families. CJI journeys with youth by supporting this initiative of the Jesuits in Nepal.
3) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Access to quality education
Education is a key issue in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Low levels of public investment and socio-political challenges have made it inaccessible, especially for poor and excluded people in the country. CJI supports Fe y Alegría as it improves access to education through programs such as distance education via radio, and workshops for teachers and parents aimed at improving teaching skills.
4) INDIA: Lok Manch
Lok Manch (People’s Forum) is a national platform for promoting the dignity and well-being of Dalits, Adivasi (Indigenous people), women and others living in poverty. It operates in 12 states across India and promotes justice and access to legal rights for thousands of marginalized people. Experiencing the world through the perspective of people who are excluded is a way to practice discernment and the Spiritual Exercises. CJI supports our partners who go through this journey with marginalized people in India.