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An initiative involving faculty and staff at Marist Schools in Chile

11/10/2011: Chile

From September 14-16 a Seminar/Workshop devoted to using a “Data-based Monitoring System” was held at Alonso de Ercilla High School in Santiago, to strengthen our Marist service in promoting the rights of children and teenagers and provide a solid basis for the next Report on Alternatives that Chile will present to the United Nations Commission on the Rights of the Child. Procedures of this sort in the Marist Institute have taken on greater relevancy now that the International Marist Solidarity Foundation, FMSI, has been formally recognized in Geneva.

The Marist Solidarity Team, the Department de Childhood and Public Policy of the University of Chile, and the Chilean Association Pro United Nations (Spanish acronym ACHNU), working in coordination with the Network of NGO’s dedicated to Children and Youth, joined forces to present this event for the benefit of some 40 professionals from our educational institutions. In regard to Marists, 10 lay people and brothers from different schools and teams took part in this gathering.

The aim of the seminar was to offer ideas and techniques for drawing up a plan of work for starting a project like “Infancia Cuenta” (Kids count) in Chile. In the USA, Canada, Mexico and other countries programs of this kind that monitor the welfare and rights of children have been in place for quite some time, beginning with the Kids Count program of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. At various times information about this program has been used in preparing alternative reports,showing how practical it is, and also what an effective strategy it provides for improving the lives of children and young people.   

The seminar was organized and directed by Mr. Gerardo Sauri, an expert from Mexico who put this system into practice in his home country and has promoted it in several others. The Marist Provinces of Brasil Centro Norte and Brasil Centro Sur sent us Claudia Laureth, Milda Moraes and Jimena Grignani to share about similar programs that they run in Curitiba and Brasilia. Also participating in the seminar was Mr. Fernando Larrambebere, in charge of the Provincial Office for Solidarity in Argentina’s Cruz del Sur Province. We take this opportunity to once again express our thanks for the invaluable input that we received from our neighboring countries and sister Provinces.

Profiting from the presence of Claudia Laureth, Director of Social Programs for Brasil Centro Norte, we held the Colloquium: “Socio-educational interventions with youth living with restraints.” Her presentation enabled us to familiarize ourselves with the outreach program provided at the Marist Halfway House in Vila Velha for young people in conflict with the law. Other guests included personnel from Chilean institutions who carry out similar programs, and representatives from the National Service for Minors (SENAME), familiarizing us with alternatives they offer to these young people and the many challenges needing our urgent attention.

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