The first webinar organised by the Jesuit Association of Secondary and Basic Education in Africa and Madagascar (JASBEAM) took place on Wednesday 24 May 2023.

The idea of the webinar came from the last meeting of education delegates of Africa and Madagascar, held in Kinshasa in March this year. The aim was to have a webinar bringing together the 54 Jesuit schools of the JASBEAM network. On participation, one could see 92 screens, and behind some were groups of teachers, students, alumni, and parents.

The theme of the webinar was Educating Men and Women for Others in the Jesuit Tradition, and the guest speaker was Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, the president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM).

In the preamble, Fr. Orobator framed the theme in the discourse of Pedro Arrupe at the congress of the alumni in Valencia in 1973. "Training people for others", he said, “is today the criterion for the success of our education. He noted three reflections: to be practitioners of "creative love"; to be "agents and promoters of change"; and to be persons docile to God and directed by the Holy Spirit.

At the core of the presentation, he developed five points:

1. The idea of "persons for others" is rooted in the fundamental Ignatian vision of "helping souls." It is therefore not a simple invention of Pedro Arrupe, but rather a deepening of the purpose of the Society that runs through all the founding documents of the Society of Jesus.

2. Educating people for others in the Jesuit tradition implies that the pursuit of knowledge is never an end in itself. It is a transcendental enterprise to form people of solidarity with the poor and the marginalised.

3. Education of persons for others in the Jesuit tradition is not limited to the formal teaching of pedagogical content and subject. The idea aims to train people of competence, conscience, compassion and commitment.

4. Educating people for others in the Jesuit tradition is a collaborative project based on discernment. It is a collaboration with lay people of all religious beliefs and with non-Jesuit religious to carry out a mission without borders.

5. Educating persons for others in the Jesuit tradition does not aim only at individuals, but also our "common home" of which we must take care.

He concluded that in the work of promoting justice and forming people for others, we have only one model and one obligatory reference: Christ.

To read the full message from Fr. Orobator click {HERE}

To read the full message in French click {HERE}