All partners of the One Proposal project met in person for the first time in Bucharest for the Strategic Plan Meeting to learn from each other’s experiences, share good practices and evaluate the project so far. In doing so, representatives from JRS Europe, Xavier Network, JRS country offices from Europe and USA, Concordia Moldova, JRS International and the Society of Jesus discussed the challenges faced so far since the start of the Russian invasion, as well as the strategies that have allowed to best accompany, serve, and advocate for the people displaced by the conflict.
Alberto Ares, Regional Director of JRS Europe, explained why it is a significant milestone: “This meeting helped us share good practices in our work, what we learned, what are the challenges and, at the same time, embrace our modes of collaboration and see how we can deepen them. We also tried to focus on the next steps, thinking about the different scenarios and trying to adapt to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights and needs of the Ukrainian refugees and displaced people. We want to thank you for all your support and your commitment.”
Led by the JRS Europe the participants also reflected on the next steps as well as how to adapt to different scenarios that may emerge, with a focus on accompanying to the best of possibilities in a sustainable manner. This included discussions on strengths and weaknesses in the response so far, as well as possible opportunities and threats in the upcoming months and years.
Pablo Funes, the representative from Xavier Network, expressed: “Our role is to try to channel this incredible international collaboration, all the solidarity moving in our countries from Australia to Canada and in the different countries in Europe, in a common effort to have better major services to the people that we serve. I have experience during the last 15 years responding to emergencies in different continents and I think this is probably the best example of collaboration. Results are incredible and we are doing the best we can in different countries”.
Participating in the meeting, Tomasz Kot, Regional Assistant for Central and Eastern Europe of the Society of Jesus, highlighted the impact of collaboration under the direction of JRS Europe: “I am really amazed to see how synergy and collaboration increase the potential of each place. What we can observe now, after a year, is that the decision of Father General to appoint the coordinator in each neighbouring province and to put people together under the umbrella of the JRS Europe was really a very good decision.”
This meeting comes at a time when all partners are working together on the Interim Report, and it has provided an opportunity for everyone to take a step back and think beyond the immediate implementation to concentrate more strategically on how to best serve the people we accompany. In addition, it created the chance to evaluate the design and implementation of the project at its midlife mark and to discuss good practices which will be refined and published in a booklet soon.
JRS, Xavier Network, Concordia Moldova and all its partners remain committed to accompanying, serving, and advocating for all the people displaced by the war in Ukraine. In the first year of the conflict, the One Proposal has already provided more than 82,000 short- and medium-term assistance activities such as emergency aid, shelter, psychosocial support, education, and integration to over 56,000 people. According to the original design of the project, which is revised yearly, the project should reach more than 73,000 people over three years. You can read more about the One Proposal here.