Father Jorge Anzorena, is an Argentinian by birth and entered the Jesuit (Society of Jesus) order in his early thirties when he was ordained as a priest. He completed a PhD in Architecture from the University of Tokyo and has received numerous accolades such as the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding in 1994. Prior to his retirement around several years ago, Fr. Jorge taught at Sofia University in Tokyo six months of every year. The remaining six months he literally traveled around the world visiting low-income housing activities and building coalitions and networks of the urban poor.
When receiving the Ramon Magsaysay award, it was said of Father Jorge,
Given Anzorena’s nonstop networking over the years, it was probably inevitable that his many friends would also become friends with each other. Among the consequences of this networking, in 1988, was the creation of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). Founded in Thailand by several of Anzorena’s longtime associates in the world of housing, its goals reflect the interests and commitments he shares with them. In the words of its founding declaration, these are: “to articulate and promote the conception of people’s laws and rights to housing; to put an end to evictions and displacements of people; and to define and achieve the housing rights of all.”
The coalition now links nearly a thousand like-minded organizations and individuals throughout Asia. Anzorena’s newsletter and annual pilgrimages constitute essential ties that bind the members together. Characteristically, however, Anzorena says the credit for ACHR should not be accorded to him. “They are just friends of mine,” he says. And it is true that the coalition has developed a life of its own. But Anzorena’s philosophy guides its efforts. Among ACHR’s fundamental principles, for example, indeed its operating credo, is that the contribution of the people themselves is essential both to identifying the true needs of the poor as well as to developing strategies to meet those needs. This is Anzorena to the core.
Father Jorge visits the South African alliance associated with SDI once a year. This is really a time of reflection and recasting ideas and visions of ways and means of building networks of the urban and rural poor.
On the 15th October 2013, Father Jorge Anzorena made a visit to the community of Langrug and the waste pickers network during his visit he spoke about social business, he highlighted that he saw the waste pickers network as a businesses that is dedicated to solving social issues. The Network strives to make a profit and its payment model has adapted to peoples needs by paying the pickers cash upon delivery , the network is seen to be working informally because it realises that poor people need money urgently and putting their money in the bank will delay access to it. The pickers strives to make profit and by using business principles and strategies, it creates a sustainable business model to eradicate the social issues. Social issues are those that relate to poverty, health, education and human rights.