The Global Action Week for Education kicks off

The Global Action Week for Education kicks off

  • Posted: Apr 22, 2016 -
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The Global Campaign for Education (GCE), under the motto “Fund the Future. Education rights now”, mobilizes to demand the political representatives to comply with their international commitments and to allocate the necessary resources in order to fund the education of all the people in the world.

In order to do so, the Global Action Week for Education will be celebrated in over 124 countries around the world. It will take place from the 25 to the 30 of April.  There are 124 million boys, girls and young people in the world that are out of school. 52.9 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa, 50.9 million in Asia and Pacific, 6.6 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, 8.7 million in the Arab States and 5 million spread in the rest of the world’s countries.

In 2015, 196 States signed the Sustainable Development Goals and they committed themselves to ensure that all the boys and girls have an inclusive and equitable quality education and a lifelong learning by 2030.

On the occasion of the Global Action Week for Education, the Global Campaign for Education calls for the attention of the education community, the media, the political representatives and society on the necessity of giving tangible effect to the right to a quality education under the motto “Education protects us, lets protect its funding”.

  • Education, an element of protection

Education is an element of protection. It contributes to the reduction of poverty, it saves lives, improves health, nutrition and the well-being of individuals and society. It also promotes sustainable development, peace, gender equality and fundamental freedoms.

But so that everyone can go to school it is necessary to take action in four areas: to have a school to which they can go and learn, to have enough qualified, motivated and paid teachers, to have adequate material and school furniture and to establish funded educational policies to ensure the compliance of the right to education.

  • International commitments about financing education

States need to devote between the 4 and the 6% of their GDP to education and particularly Spain needs to fulfill its commitment of devoting at least 8% of the ODA to basic education.

Even so, we would still need 39,000 million dollars to fund education. This no financing gap could be fixed if every donor country gave 14 cents per student each day.

  • Global Action Week for Education; an umbrella as a sign of protection

For all that has been said, the Global Action Week for Education will be celebrated from the 25 to the 30 of April in Spain, under the motto Education protects us, protect its funding “. There will be acts of mobilisation in over 30 cities where it is predicted that over 10000 students and teachers will participate to protest against the political representatives about this cause.

During the whole of this year, over 100 education centres have been working with the students with teaching materials on the topic of the protection of education. I will be those students the ones that will carry out the acts on the streets in what has been called “Umbrellas for Education”, using the umbrella as a sign of protection in education funding.

What are you doing during the week? How are you supporting the campaign? You can follow the activities of the week through #GAWE and #FundtheFuture

EFA Gender Report: Less than half of countries have achieved gender parity in education

EFA Gender Report: Less than half of countries have achieved gender parity in education

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2016 -
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The last new Gender Report compiled by UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report last October, 2015 shows that fewer than half of countries – of which none in sub-Saharan Africa – have achieved the goal of gender parity in both primary and secondary education, even though all were supposed to achieve it by 2005.

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO said “Educating a girl educates a nation. It unleashes a ripple effect that changes the world unmistakably for the better. We have recently set ourselves a new ambitious agenda to achieve a sustainable future. Success in this endeavor is simply not possible without educated, empowered girls, young women and mothers. “

The Report outlines that he number of countries that have achieved the goal of gender parity in both primary and secondary education has risen from 36 to 62 since 2000. Although 62 million girls are still denied their basic right to education, the number of outof-school girls has declined by 52 million in the last 15 years. Nonetheless, considerable challenges remain, with gender disparities widening at each cycle of the education system and the poorest girls remaining at stark disadvantage.

– PRIMARY: Girls continue to face the greatest challenges in accessing primary school. Almost half of out-of-school girls will never set foot in a classroom, equivalent to 15 million girls, compared with just over a third of boys who are out of school.
– SECONDARY: Gender disparities in secondary education are closing, but remain high. In 2012, at least 19 countries had fewer than 90 girls for every 100 boys in school. The disparity was greatest in the Arab States and sub-Saharan Africa. In the Central African Republic and Chad in 2012, half as many girls as boys were in secondary school.
– UPPER SECONDARY: Boys are more likely than girls to drop out of upper secondary education. Only 95 boys for every 100 girls complete this level, and the situation has barely changed since 2000. In OECD countries, 73% of girls compared to 63% of boys complete upper secondary education.
– LITERACY: Gender gaps in youth literacy are narrowing. However, fewer than seven out of every ten young women in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to be literate by 2015. The lack of progress in literacy among adult women is stark: two-thirds of adults who lack basic literacy skills are women, a proportion unchanged since 2000. Half of adult women in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa cannot read or write.
School-related gender based violence is one of the worst manifestations of gender discrimination and holds back education attainment. Likewise, child marriages remain a persistent barrier to girls’ education. In 2012, almost one in five women who married were aged 15 to 19.
In the Arab States, one fifth of the poorest girls have never been to school, compared to one tenth of the poorest boys. In Latin America and the Caribbean, boys are at a disadvantage: 55% of boys compared to 63% of girls in rural areas complete lower secondary education. Aaron Benavot, Director of the EFA GMR said: “Lacking any other way of measuring gender equality, we have focused on getting equal numbers of boys and girls in school. But we will never achieve this unless we tackle the roots of imbalance: social barriers and entrenched discriminatory social norms. Unless we begin to understand equality as a much broader concept, girls and young women will never be able to reap the full benefits of education.”

The report concludes with a serial of important recommendations to really promote the right to education to be exercised with parity and equality:
1. Education should be free. Really free.
2. Provide policies to address the problems that many boys face, as well as girls in accessing and completing education.
3. Alternative secondary education options should be provided for out-of-school adolescents.
4. Integrate gender issues into all aspects of policy and planning.
5. A mix of legislative change, advocacy & community mobilization is needed.
6. Work together! Governments, international organizations and education providers should join up to tackle school-related gender based violence.
7. Governments should recruit, train and support teachers effectively to address gender inequality.

Download full report here

Voices of Faith and JRS: giving vulnerable girls education and hope

Voices of Faith and JRS: giving vulnerable girls education and hope

  • Posted: Mar 18, 2016 -
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(Vatican Radio)

Did you know that there is a platform for “International Women’s Day” in the heart of the Vatican?
It’s called “Voices of Faith”, it’s at its third edition, and it takes place at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican gardens.

The Gotz Foundation’s “Voices of Faith” is described as a storytelling event dedicated to the empowerment of women who have experienced trafficking, forced displacement, violence, forced early marriage, lack of education… simply for being female.
Chantal Gotz, founder of the “Voices of Faith” initiative and executive Director of the Fidel Gotz Foundation explains why she thinks it is important to bring women’s voices into the Vatican and how she hopes it will ultimately help to build a more just world.

She says that looking at the Church we see that one of its biggest concerns is social justice “and we have to admit that most of the work done is through women, but most of the women’s voices are not heard, the women are not visible”.
Gotz says her experience that has brought her into contact with many of these women on the field has so inspired her that she thinks that “maybe bringing in these stories, into the Church, into the heart of the Church (…) is worthwhile”.
She says that ultimately she hopes it will bring change because ‘storytelling’ touches the hearts and the souls of people and “finally it may also change the minds of persons” leading to a more just and right world.
One of the Gotz Foundation’s partners in this venture is Jesuit Refugee Service with its focus on education – and in particular the education of girls – as a key contribution to the needs and hopes of refugees.
Fr. Tom Smolich SJ is actually present at the “VoF” event on March 8, moderating a discussion which is headlined: “What women want – a multigenerational conversation expanding women’s leadership in the Church”.
Fr Joaquin Martinez SJ, JRS’s International Education Coordinator spoke to Linda Bordoni about the JRS “Mercy in Motion” campaign and of how education gives refugees hope and the tools not only to contribute to their new communities, but also to rebuild their old ones. And of how important it is in empowering girls and women – and even in keeping them safe!
Fr Martinez explains that the Gotz Foundation has been a strong supporter of JRS and that one of the goals of the “Mercy in Motion” campaign is to increase the number of students by another 100,00.
“Our especial emphasis on the education on the education of young women and girls” he says.
This, he points out, is of particular interest to the Gotz Foundation. He explains that JRS believes that education gives hope to people and it allows them to transend some of the situations in which they find themselves.
“It’s a lot harder for young women and girls because – for example – in a refugee camp access to the school, having to cross the camp can be unsafe if you are a young girl” he says.
And often girls, he said, are expected to help with household chores or to help with livelihood for the community, or are perhaps married off when very young: they are all denied the right to education.
“The number of girls who are refugees and are in primary education, in secondary education drops very steeply due to a number of factors in their lives” he says.
Fr Martinez says that of the estimated 60 million people who are on the move today less than one percent of them go on to obtain access to higher education.
He says that what JRS is trying to do is to increase the numbers of people who receive secondary education because that allows them to access higher education afterwards.

And JRS, he says, operates across all divides.

“About 70 percent of the people we work with are Muslim because most of the refugees in the world today are Muslim and we run schools irrespective of the religious affiliation of the people we serve” he says.

Original article published in Vatican Radio

Infographics: 60% of the 781 million adults who lack literacy are women

Infographics: 60% of the 781 million adults who lack literacy are women

  • Posted: Mar 18, 2016 -
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The Beijing Plataform for Action, an international organization depending on UN Women for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women has recently published a serial of visual numbers (infographics) to show and report on the great discrimination women live every day in the world in terms of human rights. We join this claim and highlight the importance of working towards the effective access of every woman, no matter her economic or social condition, to longlife quality education.

Take a look at the shameful numbers.


Human Rights of Women

Pope Francis announces Global Teacher Prize

Pope Francis announces Global Teacher Prize

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2016 -
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(via Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis on Sunday 13th, announced through a video-message the winner of the Global Teacher Prize, a $1 million award presented by the Varkey Foundation.
The Pope’s announcement had been previously recorded in the Vatican, and was played at the awards ceremony in Dubai.

“I would like to congratulate the teacher Hanan Al Hroub for winning this prestigious prize due to the importance she gives to the role of play in a child’s education,” Pope Francis said. The winner of the prize is a primary school teacher in the West Bank city of al-Bireh just outside Ramallah. She grew up in a refugee camp, and now teaches refugees.
“A child has the right to play,” – Pope Francis said – “Part of education is to teach children how to play, because you learn how to be social though games, and you learn the joy of life.”
Al-Hroub later told the Associated Press it was “amazing” to hear the Pope say her name, and said she would use the million-dollar prize money to create scholarships for students who excel in order to encourage them to choose careers in teaching.
During her acceptance speech, Al-Hroub reiterated her commitment to non-violence and dialogue, a theme also touched on in Pope Francis’ video-message.
A population that is not well educated because of wars, or by other reasons that exist in order not to get any education, is a population that decays,” said Pope Francis. “That is why I would like to highlight the noble profession of a teacher.”

Amanda: “We support gender based approach education in Colombia”

Amanda: “We support gender based approach education in Colombia”

  • Posted: Mar 10, 2016 -
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Fe y Alegría Colombia accompanies in Cartagena de India a process of “Training in coexistence and citizenship in terms of a culture of peace and violence prevention with a gender-based perspective”.

This project has made it possible to integrate in 6 educational institutions in the institutional network of Fe y Alegría Colombia and in the district of Cartagena de Indias, the 2 subjects of that SDG Agenda that summon us: quality education and gender equality. Last year, schools of basic education were open in order to work with boys and girls on topics like the construction of equality between men and women, the prevention of abusive and violent relationships (gender and culture of peace), and the learning of some empowering psychosocial tools that make it possible to materialize forms of interaction and relationship between people. All this in the framework of the specific characteristics of the Afro population in Cartagena.

From the working perspective that the team that is involved in the process has, the realization of the right to an integral and quality education of girls and boys does not only include the full access to the educational systems but also the training in gender issues since preschool, that allows them to address directly the discriminations and other urgent forms of ill-treatment that are present in their culture, looking for a transformation.

The power of the customs has more possibilities of staying settled without this explicit and intentional approach of gender issues in education – that in our case it includes the rights of women and girls as well as the construction of new masculinities.

The role that the teachers have in this field is essential, as their own example will affect the learning of the girls and boys. Also, the compound of adults that are part of the educational community and that also have to do their part to contribute to the desired change, even though we are aware of the limitations that exist in this field.

We are optimistic; we have the conviction that by carrying out these synergies in the implementation of the SDG four on education for all, the results will be enhanced. For the process that concerns us, achieving a quality education that includes gender equality, the results will be visible in a more respectful, equal, free of discrimination and gender violence treatment between the girls and boys that live this educational intervention, projecting its impact in the towns where they live.

Education and work, apart from being rights because of our human nature, they have a demanding and equalizing character

Education and work, apart from being rights because of our human nature, they have a demanding and equalizing character

  • Posted: Feb 26, 2016 -
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In Edujesuit we are dedicating the month of February to work training. We want to go deeper in how the right to education is directly related to the right to work. For that, we wanted to know more about the context of the working world and how, from the Society of Jesus, some responses are being articulated.

We have interviewed Asier Bengoa, coordinator of Training for Employment of the International Federation of Fe y Alegría.

What is your analysis of the global context of the working world?

The current working world, especially referring to the scope of technical training and moving a bit from university and scientific training. Until very recently when thinking of what it would be technical or even technological training, the image of a mechanic or a tailor would come to mind and those jobs would also be very associated with a certain gender. Back then, technical training was a set of skills and was closely associated to manual labor.  In recent times, we are aware that the world has moved towards a high automation therefore, what before used to require a lot of low skilled manpower, now requires little but very qualified workforce. That is why; the matter of automatism has been one of the big changes in today’s world.

I also think that another great leap has been the entry in the communication era and the internet that has detached worked from a fixed or determined space. Now people move in a more global manner worldwide. Those two contexts in which the presence of automatism and breaking with geography or job stability, make people need different competences and abilities. Nowadays it is not as important to have manual dexterity as you need another type of abilities that allow you to adapt to changing labour environments, to work in a more interactive way with other people. Before, you worked with a machine or you were associated with a certain tool but now increasingly you have to be in contact with other people more than with machines. All that makes necessary to have a different set of skills.

That is one of the main themes and we have in our hands one of the great challenges in technical education which is to transform our centers from an industrial mentality to a XXI century one with what it entails.

In this context that you are talking about. Which is the additional difficulty for the people in a vulnerable situation?  

The context I am talking about is a general context. If people on top of that have a situation of vulnerability because of access limitations, gender-based or sex-based limitations for the fact of being a man or a woman,  limitations because of being disabled, being an indigenous person or living in certain contexts: in rural areas, jungle zones… Obviously this deepens the difficulties they have to get on in today’s context. Clearly as Fe y Alegría, we focus on limiting the inequalities or shortening the gap that may exist, therefore, we put our attention in the regions with the highest inequalities in this context. But evidently, independently of the people we serve which are our main focuses; this reflection is based on the necessity we have to shape ourselves to also reshape that context. But we find ourselves in a time in which our proposals either change or they will also have a gap and therefore we would transmit that gap to the people we work with. If we are out of focus we can be very centered on a target audience but we won’t be giving them a relevant service and a relevant education. That is why the question of propriety is not only in the hands of people but in what we transmit to that people. That is why our proposals need to answer to current labour contexts.

Which is the response that Fe y Alegría is giving to this reality?  

One of the high stakes is to change the conception of technical education as people think it consists on using a hammer, sewing or other similar skills to show that that it consists on working on personal, intellectual, organizational or entrepreneurship skills. In other words, much more general skills. In fact, that is why they call them general labour skills, because they are the ones that make it possible for people nowadays to get on in a working environment regardless of the specific kind of job they are doing. Obviously, they need to have some kind of a base in any of the areas but just a base because, as the specific part changes a lot, they acquire those skills in the working environment. Inside the companies themselves they are going to acquire the specific skills of that job. What is essential in our role is to give a good technical base but, above that, is to give a good base on the personal, interpersonal and organizational competences being those the main competences that have to be emphasized. What is interesting about that is that, as those competences are new, they are not gender-based and do not have a very specific role. In other words, before the tailor, the mechanic and others had very defined roles buy in today’s working world new jobs are created with new skills that are not linked to a gender-based role. But yes, that is one of the main challenges, to transform the centers so their role is not limited to teaching technical skills but also to generate another type of attitudes and values that make it possible to give an all-round education as we traditionally say in Fe y Alegría. Therefore, something that is so historic is also very current and necessary.

Could you give a concrete example of the work of Fe y Alegría?

We are doing things regarding what we call employability, which refers to working on general labour skills. Nowadays we are working in 21 countries so that all their technical educational centers introduce in their curriculum certain competences that have to do with team work, the tolerance to frustration, decision making etc…  One of the first actions that we are carrying out is to incorporate these competences in the centers curriculum. We are working with over 300 centers so that they work on those competences making it possible to introduce them in their curriculum. In addition to this, we are generating another element. As we are incorporating elements that are common, we can also establish a common way in which we can measure it and also an external way as it is independent from the teacher and the students are the ones who measure it.

Through an evaluation or self-evaluation that the student carries out at the beginning and at the end of the training we can evaluate the progress or his or her contribution to the learning process and that is something independent of the teacher. This way we can firstly see the initial situation of the student and his or her skills in the beginning of the process and then we can see the general situation. From that we have some more or less objective goals to reflect in the center and say: well, some progress has been made, no progress has been made, what are the causes… It does not only depend on the fact that something has been learnt or not, but this allows us to evaluate internally the teaching and learning process not depending on the evaluation carried out by the center itself. I believe that those two are important elements.

Another important aspect is that, if we refer to Fe y Alegría, we always talk about the context and that in popular education the context is one of the key elements. I do not know to which extent some work is being done actively. There are several differences between schools and technical education centres. The community goes to the school because it provides compulsory education and sometimes it is even said that the school is a small point of development. Where there is a school an activity is generated. In technical education, as it is not mandatory, the students do not have the obligation to go to the center, therefore the center should go out to them and it does not always happen. Sometimes the center stays inside its 4 walls. Another of the main aspects that we work on is to not only interact with the community but also interact with the companies and all the living actors that affect the economic and productive development of the area in which the center is located. Those are the three main actions in which we are working.

Are you working with others in the making of these responses you are giving?

Yes, in fact, the work we are doing with those 21 countries is linked to the networking with different organizations of the society.  Fe y Alegría has not been working on this answer on its own, it has been a joint action and a joint reflection with different actors of the society: JRS, the social sector of the company in México, Radio ECCA in Spain, Fe y Alegría en Chad and the rest of America and then with Cristo Rey in the United States.

And how are you doing this?

Mainly the incorporation of these competences is one of our main objectives. We are doing an exchange of the experiences of how these competences are being implemented in the different works and we are sharing materials and incorporating and enriching each other in a level of Exchange of knowledge and experiences. In the case of JRS, we are implementing proposals that we make from Fe y Alegría. We are implementing them in Uganda and South Africa in urban refugee camps in Campala, Johannesburgo and Pretoria. We also implement our proposals with ECCA and the social sector of the company in Mexico. With those three actors we are implementing the model of employability that we have in Fe y Alegría. In the case of Cristo Rey in the United States, they are providing inputs in the topic of employability and labour insertion.  They have a lot of experience when it comes to interacting with companies and employability. We are mainly learning from their experience and we are giving them the inputs we have in skills development as we have them in 5 different languages. That is a huge advantage when it comes to sharing with others.

How many people are you trying to reach? What is the scope of this proposal?

In 3 years time, speaking of employability we would like to reach around 80.000 people and of work placement around 57.000 people. There is no doubt that this is a huge challenge.

And all this you tell me about networking as a response to global challenges, how does it fit with the global objectives of development? How do the proposals of Fe y Alegría and the networking with the rest of the society fit in the global goals that the world has set from now until 2030 with the SDO?

In the SDO of 2030 they clearly mention the issue of strengthening of teacher training.  All that I have said previously has behind it a lot of hard work, not only with the teachers but also with all the management staff teams of the centers. Therefore, the promotion of training is key. We have talked about the transformation of the classrooms, the centers and the teachers. That transformation will not be possible if we don’t transform the teachers, if we don’t transform the teachers we won’t transform the centers, therefore it is obvious that we have to do a lot of background work with the teachers. I think we also have to change in Fe y Alegría, we do a lot of teacher training and I think our methods are somewhat outdated. Nowadays, long training courses for teachers or students are complicated. We have to train in a short period of time and we have to make the most of that short time, they have to be meaningful even if they are short. Sometimes we want to give a lot of information, a lot of content or super long training courses when, nowadays, the information is there. We have to train in a different way and that is where we find a challenge, we have to make the training of teachers meaningful.

The SDO of 2030 also mentions another element that is to provide training on meaningful skills for today’s contexts, stressing on generating possibilities of access of vulnerable sectors and, within these vulnerable groups we can find: rural, indigenous, farmers or even women because there is still a gender equality gap between men and women in the world of work and that is a fact. Therefore I think that the network that is working inside the society with vulnerable groups… is clearly aiming towards those two objectives of 2030.

I believe you also work on global citizenship

Yes, in fact more global citizenship than what we are already promoting because we are also starting to work in center’s networks and student networks and this comes hand in hand with the task that Entreculturas (NGO of the Society of Jesus in Spain) is carrying out here with Entrescuelas. We foster the linking of Spanish centers with Latin-America, of the United States with Latin-America and. In fact, we want to use the platform of Educate Magis in order to promote the interaction between teachers but also between students so later, based on common themes, they will analyze and see how from everyone’s reality they face the problems. There really is a global citizenship working line that helps understand the world in a different way in order to see that, in the end, we are all very alike.

What is the relation between the right to education and the right to work?

I think that they are two inherent elements for every human being, together with our spiritual condition… We are working creatures, we are eager to learn, we have that quality and we have a quality to transcend. Therefore, talking about work, education or spirituality is to talk about the human beings. They are key elements because they are inherent to every human being, they are a necessity. Being able to keep on learning and knowing more about the world is a necessity and even more nowadays because human beings have generated inequalities between human beings, education and work. These, apart from being rights because of the fact of being humans, they have a demanding and equalizing character.

Jesuits invited to partner with Rajasthan government

Jesuits invited to partner with Rajasthan government

  • Posted: Feb 23, 2016 -
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Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief minister Vasundhara Raje invited the Jesuit priests, who run St. Xavier’s School in state capital Jaipur to partner the government in skill development initiatives undertaken by the Rajasthan State Livelihood Development Corporation (RSLDC).

The BJP chief minister said she was pleased to see that the Jesuit priests had a vocational training school and that it was making a difference to the lives of students from all sections of society, reported the Times of India.

She was speaking at the 75th anniversary celebrations of the school, which was also attended by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, the papal representative in India and Nepal.

She lauded theSt. Xavier’s management for setting up a balwadi that admitted 30 students each year, helping children from poor families complete their education at the school.

The chief minister had special words of praise for the school band, which put up a performance as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the school. There were many young schoolgirls playing the drums in the band, and Raje said she was pleased to see girls marching as part of the band.

The chief minister called upon students to be sensitive to others and open to diverse points of view. State BJP president Ashok Parnami also attended the platinum jubilee celebrations of the school.


Technical training at the Loyola Vocational Institute in India

Technical training at the Loyola Vocational Institute in India

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2016 -
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Photos of the activities of Loyola Vocational Institute (LVI) attached to the formal education given at St. Xavier’s School, shahbad-Daulatpur, Rohini, Delhi. of the Delhi Jesuit Province. St. Xavier’s School Complex at Shahbad-Daulatpur, Delhi could be termed as an abode of integral and holistic training centre. With a regular formal school having close to four thousand students, there is the Loyola Vocational Institute mainly for the high school dropouts with around eight hundred students, along with remedial coaching classes for the children attending at the local government schools, it could be considered as a model for community education. It was not a surprise at all when the school was graded as an “A star institution” by the Times News Network. This could be a model for holistic and quality education.

Encouraging the right to education in Africa: First Fe y Alegría Congress

Encouraging the right to education in Africa: First Fe y Alegría Congress

  • Posted: Feb 02, 2016 -
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Last Monday, the first Fe y Alegría Congress in Africa, which took place from January 25th-31st in Chad, came to a close. More than 40 participants gathered together from Chad, Madagascar, Kenya, Togo, Central African Republic, Guinea Conakry, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Zambia, as well as representatives from JESAM (Jesuits of Africa and Madagascar), the International Federation of Fe y Alegría, Jesuit Refugee Service, Entreculturas-Fe y Alegría Spain, Alboan, Porticus, and Misereor.

Fe y Alegría, one of the largest non-profit educational institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean, has since 2007, with the founding of Fe y Alegría Chad, been working to spread its educational mission in Africa. A work of the Society of Jesus and recognized in successive General Congregations as one of the most important Jesuit networks working for justice in the world today, Fe y Alegría annually reaches over 1.5 million participants in low-income neighborhoods and rural communities.

Participants in the Fe y Alegría Africa Conference had the opportunity to visit several schools in Mongo, Chad, where Fe y Alegría first established its roots on the African continent. They also participated in the inauguration of a school in the village of Ghelati and helped to place the first building block for a new Fe y Alegría high school.

Daniel Villanueva SJ, Director of Entreculturas – Fe y Alegría Spain shared that throughout the visit, there was a spirit of celebration, and participants were able to witness the transformation and level of empowerment that has taken place over the past five years in the community, “fruit of years of sustained accompaniment with authorities, teachers, parents, and students, who today feel that the “Foi et Joie” project is now theirs.”

Throughout the week, members of the group were able to learn more about and better understand the identity and work of Fe y Alegría in the African context, as well as discuss challenges for the future.

A historic moment for the Fe y Alegría movement, we look forward to following and seeing how the fruits of this Congress help to expand the Fe y Alegría network and educational opportunities for students, families and communities throughout Africa.

This article has been extracted from the Jesuit Networking Blog.