Our JRS Regional Directors’ Team meeting took place in Colombia from 14-19 November 2022. The gathering took place mostly in Bogota, hosted by the Javeriana University, but it also included a visit to Cúcuta on the border between Venezuela and Colombia.
During the first days of the meeting, the regional directors reflected and worked on how to connect the global work with the local work, understanding the diversity across the network. They also got to know different experiences and programmes that are being developed in different corners of the world.
Alberto Ares, JRS Europe regional director, explained about the meeting: “From Europe, like our companions in Latin America and the Caribbean, we are imagining how to incorporate the work of the apostolic project of the Conference of European Provincials (JCEP) and of the Provinces of the region, in the articulation with the global level of JRS, the global strategic framework and certain global tools to improve our service. In our meeting, we were invited to better understand and build bridges between reconciliation and hospitality, taking into account the particularities of each place where we carry out our mission”.
The meeting also included a visit to JRS Colombia’s projects in Cúcuta, Nuevo Santander. This visit allowed the directors to see first-hand several projects that JRS teams are developing in the area and visit the Simon Bolivar International Bridge that connects Venezuela and Colombia. Mr. Carlos Bustos, head of Migration of the Colombian Government, accompanied the directors during the visit.
The meeting was coordinated by JRS International Director, Tomas H. Smolich SJ, and Deputy Director, Michael Schopf SJ, together with Andre Atsu from Eastern Africa, Patrick Etamesor, SJ from Western Africa, Tim Smith from Southern Africa, Daniel Corrou, SJ from Middle East and North Africa -MENA-, Louie Bacomo from Asia Pacific, Stephen Raj from South Asia, Joan Rosenhauer from United States and Canada, Oscar Calderón from Latin America and the Caribbean, and Alberto Ares, SJ from Europe. Several colleagues from the international office participated in several of the meetings both in person and online.
As a conclusion of the meeting, the group crafted a communication that you can read here