Since mid-march the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) has been holding bi-weekly extraordinary meetings with the six Conference delegates, the four GIAN leaders, along with the Xavier Network (XN) emergency group to share and listen to one another about the Covid-19 crisis situation in various countries, in the Conferences and networks.
Taking advantage of the expertise of the Xavier Network emergency group, the SJES elaborated the need and response through a global mapping. This simple mapping exercise was intended, a) to obtain information on the present status of works in the social apostolate, opportunities and difficulties encountered, b) to detect innovative responses, actions taken and plans made, and c) to help detect how best to approach this moment of emergency and plan the recovery phase. This survey included other Jesuit international works such as Fe y Alegría and JRS.
Around 128 social centres/institutions responded to the survey from all six Jesuit conferences. The survey shows that these social centres are reaching out to a little more 1 million people around the world, of which 52% are new beneficiaries. Despite lockdown in many countries, 94% of these social centres either are providing minimum services remotely or are functioning partially. Emergency responses include, awareness raising, humanitarian services such as providing shelter, health care, food materials, communication and contacts and advocating for safety of migrants and right to food and shelter for the poor and the vulnerable.
The hope is that this will provide us with some basic information for collective discernment to establish global coordination, joint strategic framework and action both now – in the emergency response – and later during the recovery phase.
The Secretariat has also created a new section, Covid-19, within its Website:
https://www.sjesjesuits.global/en/index.php/covid-19/ in order to strengthen our global communication strategies and to share news and reflections, global concerns and best practices within the Society of Jesus at this time of the Pandemic.