By Darrion Narine
Programme Coordinator, CCSJ and Archdiocesan Ministry for Migrants and Refugees
In a world where social ills continue to dominate our society, it is essential that people begin to equip themselves with the necessary skills and inspiration to find solutions.
That was the dominant idea behind the development of the advocate magazine which serves as a precursor to our advocacy programme, which will be coming on stream later in 2021.
The 61-page e-magazine (which was conceptualised and developed by Matthew Pierre) introduces the reader to the work of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice but also provides them with a series of articles on advocacy and activism.
The magazine also provides an avenue for people to explore ways in which they can become involved with the Justice work of the CCSJ.
The launch of the magazine on the CCSJ Facebook page on Thursday, June 24 at 6 p.m., welcomed an impressive line-up of speakers. The Chair of the CCSJ, Leela Ramdeen, opened the session and gave a description of Christian advocacy, linking it to the work and life of Jesus Christ.
Following her was Dr Aloys Kamuragiye, who is currently the Representative of the UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office. He was able to provide a brief description of what an advocate looks like within the context of the United Nations.
The launch then became quite personal when Andreina Briceno Ventura-Brown from La Casita shared her journey which moved her fellow speakers and the audience. She provided a first-hand account of what it was like being a migrant and how she became an advocate for those who may not be as fortunate as she, from her country and wider communities.
Several staff of the CCSJ (Dominique Heffes-Doon, Shelly-Ann Simon and myself) also presented before Matthew Pierre took the audience through the magazine and then allowed two PMMRs (Chris from Carapichaima and Angie from La Romaine) to share their experiences on being a community advocate. The night was definitely fun filled but also very inspirational. It has now paved the way for the CCSJ to begin its work in developing the capacity of community advocates for social justice.
As society continues to go through turbulent times, especially during this pandemic, it is imperative that people begin to speak out against corruption and injustices within our society. Our lives are all interconnected, and we cannot see ourselves as existing in isolation. Regardless of colour, class or nationality, our society will only strive when there is equity, love, and unity.
The Advocate e-magazine is only the beginning of great things for the CCSJ. So please support us by donating or volunteering today. Our services include: Health Fairs, Legal Aid Clinics, Alternative Care/Fostering (for migrant children), Child Friendly Spaces, Social Justice classes and much more.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
May God guide your path as we all work toward a better tomorrow. Paz.
SOCIAL JUSTICE QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or completely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles. (183)
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee