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FMSI - Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale



A new FMSI office in Latin America

25/10/2013: General House

The idea emerged during the training course for “links” with FMSI held in Rome in May 2012. A first  informal request came from Álvaro Sepulveda, a Chilean Marist brother and local contact with FMSI, who then involved Analía Ruggeri, Argentinean, also an FMSI link person. Discussions and clarifications necessarily followed, especially after the visit to their countries of our Geneva agents Manel Mendoza andVicente Falchetto, for the idea to mature… In May 2013 arrived the official request on the part of the superiors responsible for the three administrative units of the Marist Institute composing the “region” called Cono Sur: theProvince of Santa María de Los Andes (Chile, Peru and Bolivia), the Province of Cruz del Sur (Argentina and Uruguay) and the District of Paraguay. The new regional office takes the name of “FMSI Cono Sur”.

The objectives of the new office are tied principally to the implementation of strategies for the   promotion of the rights of children and adolescents in the countries of “Cono Sur”, so as to be able to enter into in dialogue with local government bodies and United Nations delegations, FMSI having “special consultative status ECOSOC”, that is to say, the official recognition of the UNO. This also means access in full title to organizations already active in the countries and in all of Latin America, such as the Foro Iberoamericano, Nino Sur (Mercosur), Redlamyc, BICE, Save the Children, Unicef and other bodies, and together to affect in a more efficient manner public policies at national and regional levels.

All this is perfectly in line with the Marist mission which committed the Institute, after the General Chapter of 2009, to the defence and promotion of the rights of children and adolescents at all levels and not only to  operate – as it has done for 200 years – in the field of education and solidarity, through formal schooling and other centres of assistance and social promotion for children.

To the proposal followed the positive response of FMSI, as responding perfectly to what in the statutes of the Foundation goes under the name of “Regional or national offices”. So an official document of accord was prepared and in September this document was signed at the Hermitage (Lyon, France), during the General Conference of the Marist Institute, taking advantage of the simultaneous presence of the superiors of the three administrative units of Cono Sur, the   President of FMSI and the directors of the Rome and Geneva offices.

We are not speaking in reality of a new institution, but rather of the formalization of something already existing and operational. In each administrative unit of Cono Sur, in fact, a solidarity office exists which is already active not only in assistance of local projects but also in the promotion of the rights of the child: it is sufficient to recall the part played by the FMSI link Álvaro Sepulveda in the creation of the National Observatory of Chile for the Rights of the Child which we have already referred to on this site. (See the notices of 19 July 2013: http://www.fmsi-onlus.org/noticias.php?a=1&n=001122 and 15 October 2012:http://www.fmsi-onlus.org/noticias.php?a=1&n=001062)

Because of this continuity, the ordinary operation of FMSI Cono Sur does not require any particular investment in persons or office space, although it includes a budget placed at the disposal of applicants and with an initial contribution from FMSI. It remains to fix the name of the co-ordinator of the new office, something that will be done in October 2013. The person chosen will have a period of specific training in Geneva and Rome to gain greater familiarity with the internal   procedures of the Foundation.


FMSI - Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale - http://www.fmsi-onlus.org

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