Young leaders of Social Justice-Leah
In our leaders for social justice series, we interview young people from across the world who have been involved or influenced by the Society of Jesus.
Secondly we have, Leah Casimero, a 26 year old from Guyana who is part of the Quality Bilingual Education programme supported by Jesuit Missions.
Can you give a brief outline about who you are?
My name is Leah Casimero, and I am from Aishalton village, South Rupununi, Guyana. I am 26 years old. I am part of a team spearheading the Quality Bilingual Education Programme for Wapichan children.
What is your background with the Jesuits?
I grew up in a Catholic family and was very much involved in my church’s youth group under the guidance of the local church leaders and Jesuits Priests. This was throughout my secondary school life.
A few years later, I was able to complete my undergraduate degree program at the University of Guyana with financial support from the Jesuits Scholarship Fund.
Upon the completion of my undergrad program, I was invited to be part of the Quality Bilingual Education programme – a new initiative of the Jesuits in Guyana in collaboration with local communities.
Have you had any previous involvement with Jesuit Missions/how much do you know about what we do?
I know that Jesuit Missions has been supporting missions in different parts of the world including Guyana and the Bilingual programme.
If there was one thing you could change in the world, what would it be and why?
I would change the vertical way people perceive their relationships with others and nature, simply because it is leading us to our destruction.
What is your hope for the future of the world?
I hope for a world where people lead fruitful lives in harmony with nature and everyone else.
How have you been influenced by your involvement with the Jesuits?
I think it is worth noting that my father, who usually speaks out against injustices and makes representations for the benefit of others, has impacted me positively since I was I child. With the Jesuits, I am surrounded by people like him working for the good of others.
Some of the key things I have learned from the Jesuits are: the need to have a good education – academically and the heart, the need for action, the importance of reflection and discernment, and to have unwavering faith and trust in the goodness of God. These key things have led me to think and make better decisions, and to live a more meaningful life.
Is there a Jesuit that you feel inspired by?
Yes! Pope Francis.
Do you find Ignatian Spirituality useful/is this something you practise?
I have been around Jesuits and hear the way they pray, but I have never been directly part of any spiritual direction/exercises or related.
How do you feel that you put your faith into action?
It brings a sense of joy in doing and gratitude for being free to do so.