The young people of Soweto want to change the world as much as I do, and we can all agree that the best way of beginning is in relationship. I do not know how to work against most of the oppressive systems in our world today, but it seems to me that personal relationships have influenced the most significant movements in history. From Martin Luther King, Jr. to Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day and Nelson Mandela himself, all have fought for change because it affected them and those they most love.
Fr. Pedro Arrupe is famous for allowing himself to be led “I know not where” and the evolution of this project is a testament to the fact that our best approach to practicing the will of God is a loving surrender and sincere commitment to the relationships in our lives. After all, “Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way” (Arrupe).
As I settle into the community, I look forward to furthering relationships, as we discover Simunye in our stories.
The Simunye Team
The Simunye Team is composed of Michael Bakan and Drew Descourouez.
Michael Bakan is a first-year student at Georgetown University, where he plans to study International Business and Marketing. Over the past two summers, he has traveled to Soweto, South Africa on an immersion trip through his former high school, Bellarmine College Preparatory. During these trips, Michael developed a passion for using graphic design and other forms of artwork to share the stories of his friends in Soweto, as they strive to create a better South Africa in a post-apartheid, post-Mandela world. He is excited to return to Soweto to strengthen the bonds of kinship with his South African friends and to share the voices of those who are not often heard but will play an integral role in our future.
Drew Descourouez is a first-year student at Santa Clara University. Drew traveled to Soweto, South Africa in 2014, on Bellarmine College Preparatory Immersion trip. He has since traveled to nine other countries around the world and developed a deep desire to connect cultures through storytelling and personal relationships. Drew is also passionate about youth empowerment and hopes to learn more from his friends in Soweto about how young people can take responsibility for a shared future in a globalized world.
Learn more about The Simunye Project at ignatiansolidarity.net/the-simunye-project