Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR)

I had the honour of meeting Fr Peter Henriot whilst in Zambia this summer. He was staffing the stall of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) at the annual Agricultural and Industry Show in Lusaka. He is a a wonderfully humble man but he and his institute do phenomenal work in Zambia.

One of the most prominent pieces of work produced by the centre is its Basket for Basic Needs. The centre publishes its work on a monthly basis in the form of a itemised list of the basic needs a Zambian family has to survive. It costs of the essentials of everyday life and measures them against the incomes of the average person in Zambia.

The Basket demonstrates every month that even Zambians in the comparatively well paid professionals such as teachers and nurses cannot afford to live much beyond a basic existence in their own country. For police officers the situation is even worth (no wonder there is so much corruption in the Zambian police force!)

When one considers that according to official figures 85% of Zambians exist on less than US$1 a day one realises the extent of the probles facing Zambia!

No comments: