Volunteering and the Public Good
Commitment to an active citizenship
Naples, 24th – 28th June
The ’Social Week’ is a gathering of Jesuits and their collaborators, and of volunteers engaged in the Ignatian social apostolate in Europe. Previous meetings took place in Piestany (2007) and Brussels (2010). This year the meeting will take place in Naples. The chosen theme is ‘Volunteering and the Public Good: Commitment for an Active Citizenship’.
Volunteering is a way of helping to promote substantive change in our societies. Through an extraordinary range of activities, volunteers have a significant impact on the life of the people they encounter. Change at the societal level takes place through personal relationships, through promoting deeper social awareness, and through campaigning or supporting the work of the agency with which the volunteer is involved.
Motivations for volunteering are diverse. In our case, social engagement is driven by our faith – a faith that does justice. To follow Jesus Christ is an experience that affects not only our interior life but helps us to see the world and other people in a different way. Authentic promotion of justice can itself become a way of communicating our faith.
The primary change brought about by volunteering often takes place in ourselves. The knowledge of realities new to us, and especially contact with poor and marginalised people, drives us not only to do something specific to seek social change, but raises questions for us about the deeper causes of unjust situations. When we try to understand the social mechanisms that keep people – who over time may have become our friends – in unjust conditions, we begin to transform our volunteer programmes into ‘schools of citizenship’.
The promotion of active citizenship is a long term project that moves from sympathy to commitment and from knowledge to action. During the Social Week we shall have the opportunity of reflecting on such volunteering programmes as a key source for active citizenship
Centro di Spiritualità S. Ignazio
Viale S. Ignazio di Loyola 51
Tel: +39- 081 3724811
Final Report (pdf, 60 pages) here
Programme (pdf) download here
Presentation by Jérôme Vignon, 25/06/2014 (pdf) here
Presentation by Theodora Hawksley, 26/06/2014 (pdf) here
Presentation by Myriam Giannico, Communita Emanuel, 27/06/2014 here
Presentation by Sara Borges, Leigos para o Desenvolvimento, 27/06/2014 here
Presentation by Carmen Moles, Entreculturas, 27/06/2014 here