World Congress of Jesuit Alumni/Alumnae
held in Burundi
The World Congress of Jesuit Alumni/ae was held at Bujumbura, Burundi in
East Africa. The theme of the congress was “For a better Africa – what
have we done, what are we doing and what we ought to do.” The place was
chosen specially to focus on the needs of Africa. Burundi is a country
of only 8 million and the capital – Bujumbura is situated on the lake
Mr. Yves Sahinguvu, the Vice-President of Burundi, inaugurated the
congress. In his inaugural address, he expressed that he was proud and
happy that Jesuit Alumni/ae organized such a program in Burundi and
promised his cooperation for the same.
Out of the total attendance of 173 delegates from 31 countries, 19 were
from India. (Africa 85, Latin America 10, North America 4, South Asia 2,
Indonesia 2, Europe 50 and Australia 1).
The Indian group, which was the largest, consisted of equal number of
heads of institutions and alumni/ae. Institutions represented were St.
Xavier’s College – Kolkata, St. Xavier’s Loyola Hall – Ahmedabad, Loyola
School – Jamshedpur, St. Stanislaus School – Mumbai, St. Joseph’s
College – Darjeeling, and St. Xavier’s School – Gayaganga.
St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata was represented by a six-member delegation
(Firdausul Hasan, Naresh Gupta, P.K. Mathur, Chamdan Roy Chowdhury and
Debashish Moitra) led by Fr. Felix Raj, SJ, the president of the Alumni
In keeping with the spirit of Nihil Ultra they actively took part in all
the deliberations and activities at the Congress. The delegates from all
over the globe noticed their presence. Our contribution and Father’s
address were greatly appreciated by all. It was indeed a matter of pride
for us that the past secretary of the SXCCAA and the current Secretary
of JAAI, Sri Naresh Gupta was elected as a member of the Governing Body
We were privileged to have the Superior General, Fr. Adolfo Nicholas for
2 days. His message to the participants was inspiring and thought
provoking. He invited the associations to be more relevant in the world
and sensitive to the needs of the people.
The Indian group has decided to be of assistance to the African
associations in the following areas:
- Teaching English to students in Rwanda, Congo and Burundi.
- Exchange of students between two countries.
- Offer to upgrade teaching skills by making available seats in B.Ed.
- Offer a short-term medical team to diagnose and treat patients in
countries like Rwanda and Burundi.
This calls for more support and cooperation from alumni members to reach
out to the poor and the marginalized ones.