Tag Archive for “option for the poor”

Planting a Field of Dreams For Youth of Malawi

Two other elements raise questions that are real tests of our future. Firstly, can LJSS truly be the ‘option for the poor’ that we have talked about since early days of planning? We are dependent on Government funding for teachers, in a country faced with serious economic problems. Without adequate Government support, LJSS would have to raise tuition fees. What consequences would that have for the recruitment of girls and boys from poorer families?

And second, will LJSS be the ‘green’ school we say it desires to be? We built the school with soil-based bricks, and purchased all the furniture from a joinery using wood from sustainable tree plots. This is our commitment to avoid the deforestation that is causing climate change havoc in Malawi. Can we keep this green pledge in the future?

An option for the Poor

alojz-16-07-11-209-300x225As we are busy doing planning and fund raising for the new Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) in Kasungu, Malawi, we have been describing the effort in a variety of ways.  People have asked me recently why I have been referring to this educational commitment of the Zambia-Malawi Jesuit Province as an “option for the poor.”

The phrase “option for the poor” is central to Scripture, to our church social teaching and to our Jesuit mission documents.  It indicates a preference of insight and commitment to those with minimal resources for full human development.  It urges looking at the world from the perspective of the poor and working to improve the conditions that dehumanise our sisters and brothers.