Jesuit Missions, United Kingdom

During Lent, we want to showcase how the Jesuit Missions team is committed to supporting marginalised groups in Africa, Asia and beyond.

Our International Programmes Officer, Laura Angarita Romero, gives her insight into how she helps us achieve these goals.

I’m from Colombia, a Latin American country that recently had the biggest armed conflict in the world.

When I was in the process of deciding what to study, the Colombian government announced the beginning of a new round of peace negotiations with the armed groups at that time.

I knew that I needed to study something that allowed me to understand the social and politic context but, most importantly, who gave me tools to change the reality that my country was facing.

Convinced by the need for change, I started to study Political Science at the Jesuit Javeriana University in Bogota, and then had the life-changing opportunity to be involved in the volunteer programmes offered by the university.

I had the chance to volunteer and develop communitarian projects with different communities from remote places in my country.

That was my calling: at that moment I knew that is what I wanted to dedicate my life to. The word development came to me after more study and working experience.

I’ve had almost six years’ experience working with different types of vulnerable people: refugees, migrants, IDP and now with people affected by the effects of climate change and social inequalities.

It has showed me that, if I have the chance, I need to direct the work that I do towards helping communities to empower themselves and lead the development process.

There must also be a de-colonial emphasis, which means the beneficiaries of the project leading the process and looking for suitable ways of implementing actions and ideas instead me imposing my point of view.

Read more Lent Campaign testimonies here.

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