LCEJ's six Units are at your service to respond to your physical, social and spiritual needs.
Ecojust Managing Unit
The Loyola Centre for Ecology & Justice (LCEJ) is divided into six units with specific roles to allow the Director, his staff and associates to manage activities in a way that is honest, accountable and responsive to the needs of low-income families. LCEJ Director, in consultation with the Advisors, initiates long-term programmes (usually five years) aiming at finding solutions to the present environmental crisis and to reduce the injustice that the crisis generates. Some of those programmes are under the responsibility of the Ecojust Managing Unit (EjMU).
Spiritual Ecology Unit
There is a high probability that the present environmental crisis will threaten life, all forms of life. The problem is clear and the question is simple: “What can we do?”, “What can I do?”.
We/I have three basic options:
1. We/I ignore the threat.
2. We/I accelerate the process.
3. We/I find a cure.
In fact we/I feel so overwhelmed by the problem that we/I cannot even choose between those options. We/I have not been trained to deal with complications.
Spiritual Ecology is a way of life and a training which gives us/me insights into what is pathogenetic (producing suffering) and what is therapeutic (curative, healing, alleviating).
The vocation of the Loyola Centre for Ecology & Justice (LCEJ) is to work with low-income families in a particular region of the world to better understand how the environmental crisis affects that region and help those families to generate solutions.
Relying on its expertise in coaching, LCEJ supports low-income families and communities to articulate their problems, confusion, dilemmas, and puzzles, reflect on them, discover new perspectives, find potential solutions, and finally integrate or transfer those solutions to their daily life.
The process of coaching benefits from background research done by experts because it helps coaches to prejudices. Furthermore, it gives low-income families a chance to generate solutions and apply them. Research is also crucial in coaching to enhance the process of self-development and transformation, find solutions and finally implement them.
Most of our efforts pertaining to this programme involve studying new approaches and developing innovative ways to implement them. We evaluate our success in this field by gathering qualitative and quantitative data, and using that information to measure shifts and changes from our baseline measurements.
The philosopher Jacques Derrida, in his reflection on hospitality, shows that ‘hospitality’ (hostpitality) and ‘hostility’ are not antonyms. Even when they have the best intentions, people often fail in their attempts to be hospitable.
We do not really know what hospitality is.
Not yet, but will we ever know.
For LCEJ, what makes the phenomenon of hospitality relevant for an on-going reflection, is the potential for redefinition of the traditional roles and duties of the ‘guest’ and the ‘host’. In Sri Lanka, but it is also true in many parts of the world, everyday engagement with the ‘other’ (the foreigner, the alien, the Tamil, the Muslim ...) is causing much difficulties. Outside the context of hospitality as a commodity, the ‘other” is often forced to take the perceptions of the ‘host’. The ‘guests’ cannot be themselves and have to transform their ‘otherness”. For LCEJ, with its emphasis on coaching, this pre-reflective approach to hospitality, is missing a very insightful opportunity. Fundamentally, hospitality is not a matter of objective knowledge, it is not a strategy to earn more money or a means for political games. Hospitality is a lived experience, a gift that may affect the emotional intelligence of the ‘guest’ as well as the ‘host’. They both, in their own way, might go through an experience, at times painful, of being changed by the other.
Local Networking Unit
If climate change and other forms of the environmental crisis are affecting the entire planet (biosphere), the response of local eco-systems are countless. If eco-systems have common characteristics, they vary depending on elevation, topography, temperature and rainfall patterns. In order to be effective in sustaining life in a particular eco-system, LCEJ must be fully aware of the characteristics of the eco-systems in which it is developing its projects.
From the perspective of LCEJ, an eco-system is not limited to nature but includes culture. LCEJ must work with local fishermen, local farmers, the tourist industry and other groups that are shaping the local culture and thus giving some unique characteristics to the Trincomalee District eco-systems.