Popularly known under one of its units Jana Jagaran, is a social action wing of the Goa Jesuits. Fr. Joseph Chenakala S.J., is its chief executive. SAS activities are concentrated in Belgaum and other districts of north Karnataka and Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.
SAS is an experiment at the grass root for transforming unjust structures of society. It aims at building harmonious communities of diverse peoples, religions, languages and cultures with access to basic necessities of life in a clean and healthy environment.
Two Jesuits, forty social activists and many part time animators are actively involved in carrying out the various activities of SAS. They are sustained and enriched by being with the poor and sharing in their struggles, joys and hopes.
SAS fulfills its mission in constant dialogue with the religions and cultures of people in its area of operation. It works in collaboration with individuals and groups committed to the empowerment of the marginalized. Table fellowship, common celebration of religious and national festivals, advocacy and networking on human rights, livelihood and environmental issues are SAS’s way of community building. It initiates a process of critical reflection and action on the prevalent socio - political and economic situation. SAS dreams and works with the people for the creation of a better world.
At the request of the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Rev. Felipe Neri Ferrao, to respond to the needs of the rural Sattari taluka in Goa, Fr. Simon Fernandes, a graduate in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, began his work in Sattari under the name ‘Social Welfare Action through Democratic Empowerment of Society’ (SWADES) in 2008.
SWADES endeavours to build harmonious communities of diverse peoples, religion and cultures with access to basic necessities of life in a clean and healthy environment. Empower the poor and the marginalized groups to regain their human dignity through awareness, education, mobilisation and capacity building of community based organisation, consolidating of Panchayati Raj institution, networking, policy advocacy and action oriented research.
SWADES primarily seeks to empower the underprivileged children through accompanying them in their overall growth and development by providing them better opportunities in life through alternative and innovative pedagogies. In the field of educations, SWADES works with Panchayat run schools to enhance educational standards through supplementary English classes, assistance in studies and personality development. Focussing on children SWADES has diversified its community development activities in Valpoi and the adjoining areas in the past few years. It has been engaged in empowering rural women, training in income generation and providing legal literacy and gender equity programmes. Enhancing the standards of living through education, promotion of sustainable agriculture and agro based allied production, health care and income generation is the primary focus of the programme. The modus operandi has been linking people to resources and agencies.
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