title=Human Dignity

Upholding the Dignity of those we serve

God shows the poor 'his first mercy'. This divine preference has consequences for the faith life of all Christians... This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us.”
Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 2013, Ch.4, #198

Film clip - Seeing the face of Jesus in each other


Watch the following clip and discuss:


But also, be very aware you’re visiting a life. You are visiting a human being. They are not on display. In a fishbowl.
Sister Len

Discuss:

  • How is your program sensitive to engaging with the hosts in a respectful way rather than observing them as if on display?
  • Sister Len mentions that she prepares her children to understand that they "are not lower than you?" What challenges you about this statement? What do you think has created a need for this kind of preparation. How is your program sensitive to this and how does it avoid reinforcing this concept?
  • How does your student immersion program highlight what you can learn from your hosts?
  • How will you prepare students to process or understand the deference they may encounter?
  • Consider what Kath described. Discuss how you would feel if a group of 10-15 people, who you know are from a more privileged background from you are coming to visit you this weekend to see how you live. Discuss your response- why do feel this way? Have you considered this in the design of the student immersion program?
  • Sister Len also mentions that "You don't need to bring the gifts sometimes". Why might gifts in kind not be a positive action?
  • What does Sister Len emphasise is the true value of the visit? How is this reflected in the way the trip is designed and discussed in your school community?




Film clip - The stigma of poverty

Watch the following clip and discuss:

We don't want to create more stigma or discrimination.
Kath

Discuss:

Kath and Sister Len alert us to the possibility of a visit creating further stigma and discrimination.

  • Have you considered what impact your visit to a specific group of people may have on the perception of them in the wider community? 
  • Have you considered the "stigma of being poor" as Sister Len mentioned? What does this cause to consider or re-consider?


Film clip - Sharing our common humanity

Watch the following clip and discuss:



They're not just here to give. They are also here to learn."
Sister Len

Discuss:

  • What new ideas or issues has this raised for you?
  • How does your student immersion program uphold the dignity of the people in the community you visit? 
  • What challenges you about the giver-recipient framework? How does this relate to the idea of a justice perspective or critical global citizenship?
  • How do you prepare your students to appreciate our common humanity and value diversity?




Film clip - Photography

Watch the following clip and discuss:



It's a wonderful profile pic. But please. Think more than twice.
Sister Len

Discuss:

  • What is sister Len's main concern with photography? How does this challenge you? 
  • How have you prepared students to think about the act of taking photos of people they do not know?
  • Have you considered why photographs may or may not be a good idea?
  • What other issue does this remind you of?
  • How does your student immersion program handle the issue of photography during a visit? 
  • A helpful guide on this issue may be to ask yourself "Would I mind if a stranger or foreigner took a picture of me or my daughter/son/sister/brother/niece/nephew in this situation?" If the answer is yes, then it is best not to take the picture. The stories of the people you meet will be more significant than dozens of photos of children you don't have a strong relationship with.



Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:36-40