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Saint Thomas of Villanova
1948: The Marist Brothers began their mission in Mozambique
1991: First foundation in Monrovia, capital of Liberia

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Promoting the rights of children

 

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1st Marist Meeting on the Rights of Children and Adolescents

31/05/2010: Chile

On 6 and 7 May 2010, the first Marist Meeting on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chile was held at La Serena (Chile). Representatives of the « Gesta » Foundation and the schools of Alto Hospicio, La Pintana, Quillota and La Serena – who are working with youth from the sectors threatened – met to study their role in promoting and defending the rights of these young people. Brother Pedro Herreros, strong from his experience on the General Council, helped us understand how this theme has evolved in the Marist Institute and to clarify the role of FMSI. We also received training in the fundamental theories and teaching methods for giving formation on personal rights.

The call from the General Chapter to « become experts in the defence of children’s rights » has found a ready echo in the « Gesta » Foundation. The putting in place of different volunteer programmes has allowed this Marist NGO to acquire an ever growing knowledge about children growing up in conditions of poverty. This is why a « Children’s Area » was created in 2009, envisaging several levels of action, one of them on the level of the school. These schools daily come to the help of students in difficulties, but they work especially to reinforce the great abilities already there among the boys and girls.

Knowing we form part of the same Marist project and sharing the same concern for children, we considered that we had no right to neglect the opportunity of uniting our forces and working together as a network.

This first meeting was favourable time for sharing the significant experiences which are being developed in different places. It also served to come to an agreement on the common objectives and strategies capable of giving continuity to the works of the Marist Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents. We hope thus to incarnate, in a courageous and prophetic way, the witness of Mary and Joseph who were not afraid to take risks in defending the threatened Child.

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