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Fr. Daisuke Narui, the General Coordinator of JPIC shares his impressions on the PANAM Zonal commitments.

Projects and programs

Provinces/Regions have their own concrete JPIC projects, such as protecting human  rights of indigenous people and slave descendants, caring for the poor such as homeless, drug addicts, migrants, and protecting the environment.

Such projects are based on the needs of local people, starting from the accompaniment and communion of confreres with people. As for the long standing projects, many of them are already off the hands of the SVD and such projects are independent like NGOs (non-governmental organizations). The SVD can then continue to accompany people in whatever suitable ways are needed. I think such community-based activities are ideal ways of working on JPIC issues as a missionary congregation.

Structure

Though it is not always the case, many provinces/region have JPIC committees. As the main role of JPIC coordinator is animation and coordination of confreres, I hope every PRM could establish a suitable team for this purpose since it is difficult to do it alone. The team should also collaborate with the formation team to improve the JPIC programs both in initial and ongoing formation. I would like to emphasize that documentation of activities and sharing of information are also very important in the role of the JPIC coordinator. Collaboration among the four characteristic dimensions has been taking place in several PRMs, and I hope it will continue and develop.

Finance

In PANAM, many Provinces/Region, instead of relying on funding from the Generalate, have found ways to get good funding for their JPIC activities from different agencies, mainly from Europe. This is indeed a great step towards self sufficiency. However, the difficult economic situation in Europe is affecting donations there too. I would like to encourage the JPIC Coordinators to look for local donors as well.

Collaboration

Activities for systemic change through VIVAT International and Steyler Bank could be better utilized. It is certainly needed to tackle many complicated social issues. During the workshop and visits, I was impressed by many projects, but the most amazing thing for me was the enthusiasm of confreres in their work and commitment with the people. I was encouraged by their good spirit, and I hope the good collaboration continues in this important dimension.

Fr. Daisuke Narui, SVD
Generalate JPIC Coordinator

Published in the newsletter “Arnoldus Nota” – May 2016