Ekoloġika Integrali

Esperjenza Filippina

Fil-bidu tal-pandemija tal-Covid-19, il-Gżejjer Filippini daħlu mill-ewwel f’lockdown għal xahar. Ir-raġunament ta’ kulħadd kien: “Jekk nibqgħu magħluqin id-dar, forsi ma mmutux bil-virus, imma mmurtu żgur, bil-ġuħ.” Fl-1987 kien ġie ffurmat grupp, ta’ Insara mpenjati, biex jgħinu lil-foqra ta’ madwarhom. Huma jgħixu f’Aklan, fuq il-gżira ta’ Panay, fiċ-ċentu-punent tal-Filippini. Dal-grupp jaħdem id f’id ma organizazzjonijiet oħra ekklezjastiċi u entitajiet lokali governattivi, biex jgħinu lil dawk fil-bżonn u aktar lil gruppi indiġini li baqgħu bla art x’jaħdmu minħabba l-industrijalizzazjoni li żviluppat. 

Ħassew li ma setgħux jagħlqu għajnejhom quddiem il-problema tal-pandemija u s-sitwazzjoni ta’ tbatija li n-nies tagħhom kienu għaddejjin minnhom. It-talab tagħhom instema’ u Alla pprovdilhom grupp ta’ nies mill-Italja li bgħatulhom provisti ta’ ikel għal 108 familja fi tmien lokalitajiet li kienu fil-bżonn. L-ittri ta’ ringrazzament li bgħatu it-tfal ta’ dawn il-familji kienu mill-isbaħ u jqabbżulek id-dmugħ minn għajnejk meta taqrahom. 

Mill-ewwel fehemu li ma kienux se jkunu kapaċi jibqgħu jagħtu r-ross lil dawn in-nies. L-ammont li qassmu kien għal ftit ġranet biss. Kif jgħid proverbju antik Ċiniż: “Agħti ħuta lil wieħed fqir u hekk tkun tajtu ikel għal ġurnata. Għallmu jistad u tkun tajtu sengħa li timlilu żaqqu għal ħajtu kollha”.



Għalhekk mhux biżżejjed li timla l-istonku ta’ min hu bil-ġuħ, jew tagħtihom mezzi biex jgħixu bħalma jgħid il-proverbju Ċiniż. Dawn riedu li jaslu biex joħolqu komunita’ ta’ nies li, bħal f’familja, kollox jinqasam bejniethom: bżonnijiet u beni, ferħ u diffikultajiet. Bħalma kienet fl-ewwel komunita’ Nisranija f’Ġerusalemm, fejn “ma kien hemm ħadd fil-bżonn”. Il-mira hi li kull wieħed jista’ jikber fid-diversi aspetti tal-ħajja, billi jgħix kontinwament l-imħabba reċiproka kif insibuha fil-Vanġelu. 

Dan il-grupp mhux biss jieħu ħsieb in-nies, imma wkoll l-ambjent. Ix-xogħol fil-biedja għenhom jiskopru ir-rabta li tgħeżisti bejn il-bidwi u l-art, u kemm din tista’, bħala omm, tipproduċi l-ikel għalih. Joqgħodu ferm attenti li kulma jkabbru jkun bioloġiku. Hemm reċiproċita’ bejn dak li jiżra l-bniedem u dak li tipproduċi l-art.

Ftehmu flimkien, ukoll, fuq x’għandhom ilkunu l-objettivi ġenereali: jagħmlu minn kollox biex l-ebda familja madwarhom ma tasal biex filgħaxija tmur torqgħod bi stonku vojt; jgħejnu lin-nies jerġgħu jsibu d-dinjita’ tagħhom bħala wlied Alla; joħolqu kultura fejn bħalma wieħed jagħti hekk jirċievi wkoll; li jużaw għall-massimu l-potenzjal uman tagħhom biex jwassal għal sostenibilta’ finanzjarja; impenn sħiħ lejn l-ambjent u l-ħolqien. 

Elenkaw ukoll objettivi speċifiċi: ikunu dejjem aġġornati fuq l-aħħar teknika agrikula permezz ta’ formazzjoni u sosten materjali; li jkunu persuni integri permezz ta’ formazzjoni adekwata: teknoloġika, kulturali, umana, relazjonali u spiritwali; jagħmlu l-esperjenza li huma parti mill-istess familja.

Għalhekk, ħassew il-bżonn li jfasslu proġett li jippermetti lil dawn il-famlji jkollhom ħajja aħjar u talbu lil Alla jnebbaħhom fuq kif għandhom jagħmlu. Waqt li kienu jqassmu l-ikel setghu jifhmu aħjar is-sitwazzjoni rejali. Ftit mid-djar kellhom għalqa żgħira: jekk jgħallmuhom u jagħtuhom l-għodda neċessarja, setgħu jkollhom aktar ħsad. Bdew immedjatament jaħdmu fuq dan. Bdew b’għoxrin persuna, li ġew mgħażula minn dawk li kienu l-aktar fil-bżonn. Aktar ‘il quddiem iċ-ċirku kiber għal aktar nies minn zoni oħra u kellhom jorganizzaw ħames korsijiet ta’ tagħlim għal aktar minn erbgħin nukleju familjari.

Din l-attivita saret opportunita’ biex bħala grupp jintegraw aktar mal-uffiċċji lokali tal-gvern u tad-djoċesi. Il-qassis inkarigat mit-tribu Aeta issa beda jaħdem magħhom biex iwqassal il-korsijiet tat-tagħlim lil dawn l-indiġini wkoll. 

Naturalment kellhom bżonn ta’ fondi biex ikunu jistgħu ikomplu mexjin ‘il quddiem. Ftit wara, grazzi għall-għajnuna minn dak il-grupp Taljan, minn barranin oħrajn, u minn nies lokali, wasslu biex ikollhom biżżejjed ħalli jwettqu dan il-proġett. 

Dejjem kien ċar għalihom fejn iridu jaslu: li jibnu relazjonijiet bejn in-nies għax huma aħwa ta’ xulxin peress li aħna u huma wkoll, aħna wlied l-istess Missier.

Kienet sorpriza meta propju f’dawk il-ġranet, Papa Franġisk, tkellem fuq l-ekonomija integrali, u huma ħadu dan bħala l-programm li kellhom isegwu: “Li naqsmu dak li għandna mal-foqra jfisser li narrikkixxu lil xulxin. […] nistgħu nkabbru ekonomija ta’ żvilupp integrali tal-foqra u mhux dik ta’ dipendenza. […] hemm bżonn li nagħmlu pass ‘il quddiem biex insolvu l-problemi li jisfurzawna biex nagħtu biss il-karita. […]. L-opzjoni preferenzjali għall-foqra, din l-esiġenza etico-soċjali li qabel kollox ġejja mill-imħabba t’Alla (cf. LS 158), timbuttana biex naħsbu fuq u nfasslu ekonomija fejn il-persuna, u qabel kollox il-fqir, jkunu fiċ-ċentru tagħha”. (Udjenza ġenerali, 19 ta’ Awwissu 2020).

Learning from the Saints

Pope Francis tells us in his message for World Day of the Poor that we are to learn from the saints who give us many examples of mutual sharing with the poor in their lives and where they became poor and weak themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

One example is St Paul. St Paul as one of the early Christian saints, teaches us that through his suffering, physical, emotional and mental all made him weak and empty from his own strength. However, we can reflect in his life that weakness is not an obstacle for God and the workings of the Holy Spirit; on the contrary it provided in St Paul an empty space for divine activity to work through him. When St Paul, due to his great sufferings and troubles, was empty of all human cause for boasting and self-will, he was able to identify, discern and testify that God was the source of his power and strength for his mercy, healing and protection[2] which brought him about his doctrine of power in weakness and total surrender to God, realising God’s works within one’s heart as mentioned in Corinthians 4: 6-11

Corinthians 4: 6- 11: “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us”[3]

The grace of God is at work in the hearts of saints and all those who spend time for the poorest, sharing with them time and actions in concrete ways.[4]

For Reflection & Blogging

1: How can you learn from the saints and the poor and ‘empty’ yourself from the temporary material things of the world so to make space to discern well what is important in your relations with yourself and with community? 

2: Being a missionary does not necessarily mean to leave your country to be with the poor. The poor are around us and we can me missionaries locally. As missionaries in the place you are at the moment, in what ways do you think we can become more open to being evangelized and learn from the poor? 

3: How do you think we can embrace fraternity and build mutual exchange with the poor, in response to the cry of the poor and disadvantaged communities? 


Solidarity not Blame

Pope Francis notes in the message for the World Day of the Poor, that the poor are sometimes blamed for their situation as in their suffering comes from their past wrong actions and decisions. They are sometimes also seen as a 

“burden for an economic system focused on the interests of the few privileged groups” however, it is the result of an unbalance of use of natural resources and “the result of selfishness” (Pope Francis, 2021)

A New Approach to Poverty

Pope Francis calls for a new development process in which the abilities of all are valued. Poverty is hidden in today’s society even amongst the rich, where today’s fast paced technocratic way of living makes the materially rich poor in companionship, love, emotional expression and inner peace. 

Disadvantaged people are not simply receivers, their dignity is restored when they are given space to give, and they know how to be generous. Pope Francis notes that they “often teach us about solidarity and sharing” (n 6). The ‘rich’ can benefit from the emotional wealth of the poor, if only they encounter each other in life. Pope Francis concludes that a:  

“different approach to poverty is required”  – one in which we are more conscious of being in a mutual exchange, one of dignity.  If the Holy Spirit is at work, it makes us attentive to consider the other in a certain sense as one with ourselves. “This loving attentiveness is the beginning of a true concern for their person which inspires me effectively to seek their good” (Evangelii Gaudium, 198-199).[2]

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels



Self Reflection

Question 4: If our current approach to poverty has not yet solved poverty locally and globally, what in your opinion needs to be changed? 

Question 5: What forms of poverty to rich people suffer form and how might disadvantage people help to address them?

On the occasion of the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis will travel to the Italian town of Assisi on Friday, 12 November during which he will listen and pray with about 500 people from all over Europe and the testimony of six poor people (2 French, 2 Polish, 1 Spanish, 2 Italians) will be shared and reflected upon. This gives a voice to the poor, a grassroot approach towards community development. 

Missio Malta would like to hear from you with your opinions and ideas related to these questions in ‘Self Reflections’ Send us feedback on info@missio.org.mt or directly on the below comment box on this blog!  

References

[1] Francis, “Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the fifth World Day of the Poor”, accessed November 7, 2021 https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/poveri/documents/20210613-messaggio-v-giornatamondiale-poveri-2021.html

[2] Bergant, D., & Karris, R. J. (1989). The Collegeville Bible commentary: Based on the New American Bible with revised New Testament. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, p 1149

[3] “2 Corinthians 4:6-11” Bible Hub; New International Version Accessed: November 2021 https://biblehub.com/2_corinthians/4-6.htm

[4] Francis, “Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the fifth World Day of the Poor”, No. 3 accessed November 7, 2021 https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/poveri/documents/20210613-messaggio-v-giornatamondiale-poveri-2021.html

Fl-1 ta’ Awwissu li għadda, illanċjaw dan il-proġett tal-agrikultura, fl-inħawi ta’ Ġumarap, Banga, u Aklan, ġo farm, li l-owner tiegħu xtaq jaqsam dak li kien jaf fuq l-agrikultura bioloġika u t-teknoloġija li tmur magħha. Ġew għal seminar ta’ ġurnata u bil-ftit flus li kellhom setgħu iħallsu, it-transport, l-ikel ta’ nofsinhar u jħalsu għal xi għodda le kellhom jużaw fl-għalqa. Hekk bdiet b’tant entużjażmu, din l-ewwel attivita’ ta’ dawn il-bdiewa. 

Ma dan l-ewwel grupp, ta’ dawk li kienu nteressati, malajr ingħaqdu oħrajn. Ma kienx tant faċli torganizza dawn is-sessjonijiet ta’ formazjoni għaliex, minħabba l-lockdown, dawn il-foqra ma kellhomx aċċess għall-internet biex isegwu online. Apparti dan kollu rnexxilhom jorganizzaw diversi korsijiet fuq l-agrikultura bioloġika, ġardinaġġ ornamentali, tkabbir tal-majjali, u fuq l-proċess tal-frotta tal-cacao.

Il-grupp ħa ħsieb li jipprovdi lil tletin familja: għodda biex jaħdmu l-art u apparat biex isaqqu. Qed jibdew sistema ta’ microcredit biex jgħinu oħrajn jibdew fuq skala żgħira.

Wieħed mill-benefiċċari jgħidilna:

“Għandi 29 sena. Ġejt mistieden għall-kors tal-formazzjoni fuq l-agrikultura bioloġika. Tgħallimt fuq kif nista’ naħdem l-art biex ikolli aktar prodotti u ta’ kwalita’ aħjar. Kemm fraħt meta fl-aħħar tax-xahar qassmulna xi għodda u żrieragħ biex niżirugħhom. Mort niġri d-dar u żrajt mill-ewwel u wara tlett xhur bdejt naħsad il-frott mill-għalqa tiegħi.

Wara erba’ snin kienet telqitni l-mara. Kelli naħdem ħafna, ġo chicken farm b’paga ta’ 2000 pesos (32 euro) fix-xahar, imma kien impossibbli noħroġ mil-faqar. 

Waqt dan il-kors li ħadt sehem fih rajt is-sinċerita’ ta’ dawk li kienu qed jorganizzawh, kif kienu qed jgħinu nies, foqra bħali. Sibt tama ġdida u kuraġġ biex naħdem aktar ħalli nkun nista ngħin aktar lil-familja tiegħi u noħorġu minn dan il-faqar. Sa issa għadni ngħix ġo għarix żgħir mal-ġenituri tiegħi, tliet ħuti bniet miżżewġin u ħafna neputijiet; l-għalqa żgħira li naħdem fiha mhix tiegħi. Nibża li ġurnata s-sid ikollu bżonnha u jkeċċina ‘l barra. Noħlom li jkolli biċċa art fejn nista nbni l-futur tagħna.

Kuljum nirringrazzja ‘l Alla li tani din il-familja spiritwali li hi hemm ma ġembi u li qed tgħini nirrejalizza din il-ħolma”.