Open your human heart

Jesuit Missions is the mission and international development office of the Jesuits in the UK. We were established over 50 years ago to support Jesuits from Britain working overseas especially in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Guyana. Today we work with Jesuit parishes and local partners in 21 countries, with particular focus on India, East Africa and the Philippines.

A highlight of our education work is the highly successful ‘Companions Programme’, linking UK schools with African counterparts in a mutually beneficial relationship. Currently 32 schools are involved in the project, which builds young people’s awareness of global issues.

“As my time at Makumbi came to an end I was overwhelmed by the richness I had experienced,” says early years’ coordinator Maria Neal, who travelled from Britain to Zimbabwe for the programme.

Another rewarding cultural exchange is found in the short and long-term overseas volunteering opportunities we offer for young adults, from four weeks in Kyrgyzstan to six months working in Jesuit schools and parishes in India or Tanzania. Since 2006, around 100 young people have taken part.

We respond to humanitarian emergencies, often working with the Xavier Network, and have recently held appeals in the wake of the 2016 Zimbabwe food shortages, the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq, the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal and the West African Ebola epidemic (2013-16).

In our advocacy work, we are part of the Justice in Mining Group, one of several groups in the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN). It campaigns for sustainable practices to be enforced by governments and other stakeholders.

“The six months I spent in Tanzania were the best of my life. The placement taught me the value of happiness.”

Isaac Snow, volunteer

Banner Photo: ZIMBABWE-Makumbi Mission, Happy Readers Project