A general workshop involving Jesuit leaders and core group members of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) took place from 17 to 23 June 2011 at Loyola, Spain at the retreat house near the birth place of Saint Ignatius. This is in response to the call of General Congregation 35:
“The complexity of the problems we face and the richness of the opportunities offered demand that we engage in building bridges between rich and poor and establishing advocacy links of mutual support between those who hold political power and those who find it difficult to voice their interests. Our intellectual apostolate provides an inestimable help in setting up these bridges, offering us new ways of understanding in depth the mechanisms and links among our present problems…” (General Congregation 35 , D.3, n. 28)
The general workshop was intended to reach a common understanding of steps involved in this program, to receive training on the key elements involved in networking for Ignatian advocacy, and to agree on a plan for mapping and planning to be carried out by each network.
GIAN’s five global thematic networks are on migration, ecology, governance of natural and mineral resources, right to education, and peace and human rights and their leaders come from South Asia, Latin America, Central America, Europe, and Africa. Core group members came from the United States, Spain, Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Peru, Australia, Philippines, Korea, and India.
GIAN speaks with and for the marginalised and poor on issues that directly affect their lives and its networks are defined by the following characteristics:
- Based on the network groups’ contact with poor communities
- Communicates the hopes of the poor
- Incorporates Ignatian values
- Is global and inter-cultural
- Collaborates with other civil society and Church networks
- Collaborates with other apostolic sectors
- Based on rigorous research
All Conferences are represented in the workshop with support from the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat and two experts of Alboan, the Jesuit NGO of the Loyola Province.
For more information on the workshop, please visit the GIAN website.