Ecology, Global Citizenship and Human Rights Educational Seminar

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Ecology and Global Citizenship and Human Rights Educational Seminar

The Jesuit Education Association of South Asia (JEASA) organised a 2 full day consultation on Ecology and Global Citizenship programme Consultation for the Zonal Educational Coordinators and the PCEs of the Central Provinces was held on 14-15 April, 2018, at Indian Social Institute (ISI), New Delhi. ADO was the partner of the programme. Mr. Lourd Baptista, Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ, and the PCEs prepared the seminar and prepared the action plan for the Assistancy. Fr. Robert Athikal SJ (PAT), Fr. Lancy SJ and Mr. Jothi (GUJ)were the resource persons for Ecology while Dr. Aloys SJ and Dr.Cyril SJ (MDU) were the resource persons for Global citizenship and HRE.

ECOLOGICAL Prodramme: LEAF Model

We, the humanity as a whole, have let down our future generation with broken home; the earth they have inherited is polluted and on the verge of total destruction. For the change to be brought in, it’s important that we train them to be the agents of change for a greener earth. LEAF program initiated by Gujarat Jesuit Ecology Mission & Green the Blue Charitable Trust is primarily a leadership and environmental education program with innovative pedagogy. The program enables the children to learn about key environmental issues and develop solutions to mitigate them. Some of the sustainable practices they learn are put into use in the schools and at their houses.

LEAF program thus was designed and experimented as a pilot program in 2014 with 25 students at St. Joseph’s High school, Vadodara. We scaled up this program in a gradual manner every year and this year we have introduced it in eight schools situated at different parts of Gujarat. In the year 2017 to 2018, 401 students are participating in the LEAF program.

LEAF program consists of eight day long workshops conducted within a span of ten months. The workshops are conducted outside the classroom often in places such as organic farm, bio-reserves, solar hubs, herbal garden and institutions where sustainable practices are implemented. In this way, students get firsthand experience of eco-friendly practices.  TARU MITRA experience too was shared by Robert, which is a well known model in India.

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AND HR EDUCATION

Saint Ignatius of Loyola strongly believed:

  • Faith must translate into working for justice.
  • No true expression of faith where concerns for justice and human dignity are lacking.

Social justice

  • At the heart of Ignatian spirituality.
  • It tells us that, when people are suffering hardship and oppression, their business is our business.
  • It calls us to open our eyes to the needs of others who may be suffering due to the way we are living our lives and to respond accordingly.
  •  It calls us to be faithful, to be trustworthy, to be compassionate and to stand up against injustices we see in the world around us.

Assumptions

  • We are all CITIZENS of this Earth which God had given to each one of us
  • Each of us has and equal RIGHT to live a life of DIGNITY

This calls for holding our Governments accountable to

  • the Constitutions and form of Government that ensures Equality, Justice and Fratertnity
  • Care for our Earth as it is our only HOME

Exercise our GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP and make a Commitment that every person on the face of this earth enjoys his/her Citizenship

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: Introduction

  • Explore different definitions of Global Citizenship and
  • Understand why it is important to teach and accompany our students to become global citizens.
  • Brief look at Global Citizenship in the context of the Society of Jesus.

This introduction will serve as a foundation for the remaining modules which explore important topics within Global Citizenship Education. 

 

  • Human Rights and Global GoalsExplore the themes of Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and Catholic Social Teaching.
  • These themes serve as a framework for us to work together as Global Citizens and to respond to the Social Injustices of our world.

This module will be an important introduction to the next module on Social Justice. 

Social Justice

  • Consider other intrinsic concepts which are related to the different dimensions of the human being, to society and to their dignity and well-being. 
  • Values that we believe should be implicit in our behaviour (way of proceeding), in the dynamics and social structures which guarantee that dignity and well-being for all people are a matter of individual responsibility and commitment, as well as the responsibility and commitment of the community and of institutions.  
  • In this sense, for the Society of Jesus, justice is placed at the heart of its mission, obeying the promotion of it from the service of faith which is required, and in the continued and committed search to build bridges, particularly for the benefit of those most excluded in society.
  • Will deal with following concepts and their correlation:
  • Poverty,
  • Peace and Reconciliation, and
  • Human Mobility (or Forced Migration).
  • All these from the lens of Human Rights

Right to Education

DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS - Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Education is a fundamental human right and an essential factor for the fulfilment of other rights –

  • Enables children to develop their full potential to lead a full and productive life
  • It is the primary responsibility of every society.
  • The benefits of education are not exhausted in those who receive them, but extend to society as a whole and affect very different dimensions of progress, empowerment and collective well-being.
  • This module concentrates on understanding the importance of education as a Human Right for all people and on what we understand as quality of education – History of Right, Right to Quality Education, What can we do?

Caring for the Common Home

What kind of world do we want to leave for the next generation?

  • A question to answer in the context of climate change and its effects on livelihood. The world we inherited is not the world we will hand over.
  • UN has taken the lead and so has Pope Francis and Jesuits – intrinsic to Ignatian Spirituality
  • UN data of last two decades - Average global temperatures rose by 0.85 degrees Celsius, average global sea levels rose by 19 cm and emissions of carbon dioxide worldwide have increased by almost 50 per cent since 1990. These have far reaching impacts on people’s lives everywhere.
  • However those who will suffer the most will be the world’s poorest, most vulnerable communities.
  • Commitment to address climate change - December 12th 2015, adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Not only nations but also individuals and groups are concerned and so on September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.
  • Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.” This is an important step; an evaluation of these goals demonstrates the urgency and importance of caring for our common home. The United Nations envisages that all people will have to contribute to achieve these goals.
  • Pope Francis -  Laudato Si: Caring for our Common Home, presents his concerns and emphasises the need for all to understand the possible repercussions of these changes and initiate necessary interventions to address these concerns. 
  • The Module will look at the call from Pope Francis and will examine the relationship of Ignatian Spirituality and the Environment.
  • Having explored Social Justice earlier, it will now also look at Ecological Justice and explore actions to be implemented as responsible global citizens to maintain and sustain our common home.

Sunny Jacob SJ