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All the staff of FMSI meet in Rome

04/03/2014: General House

Taking advantage of the Marist General Council’s meeting with the directors of the Secretariats during its plenary session, all the members of FMSI came together in Rome from 3-6 February. From Geneva came Manel Mendoza, Vicente Falchetto, Evaristus Kasambwe and Joseph McDonald, a young Australian spending a time with the Foundation to study the rights of the child and the mechanisms of the UNO. From Bangkok came Marco Blanco, now well inserted in the Marist world of Asia.

The agenda of the meeting featured a series of updates, the illustration of the work plan for the year 2014, the co-ordination of common activities in view of events already planned or to be defined in the near future. Apart, of course, from communicating what was happening in each office, particular attention was given to the newborn regional office of “FMSI-Cono Sur” which, after its official authorization in September 2013, now has a person responsible: Álvaro Sepulveda, a Chilean Marist Brother strongly involved in solidarity initiatives and especially in the promotion of children’s rights. He has been appointed for the first three years (2014-2016) and will work from his base in Santiago de Chile, made available by the Marist Province of “Santa Maria de Los Andes”. We have received and commented on his work plan and hope that next time Álvaro can be present at meetings of all the staff of FMSI.

We talked at length about the work in 2014: intensify fundraising activity, acquiring new skills, establishing new contacts and getting the help of an expert to study initiatives for our course for   2014-15. It is also hoped that FMSI will be the promoter of a summit at major regional level (Europe, Latin America, Oceania…) of Marist NGOs, together with the solidarity offices a/o other organizations within the various administrative units of the Institute which co-ordinate solidarity and the work for the rights of the child. The first step will be precisely the taking of the census of all these existing bodies, so as to make contact with the people who operate them.

The Geneva office illustrated its activity of advocacy: preparation of reports to present in view of the   Periodic Universal Review of some countries at the next session of the UNO Council for Human Rights and the Commission for the Rights of the Child. In parallel, the members of the office continue to make themselves present and active in the various administrative units with meetings and seminars to propagate interest and competence in this specific new aspect of the Marist mission of today. They plan also for the welcome and accompaniment of young people interested in having a work experience in their office. In this connection, there was talk of the timeliness of formulating a procedure for following up and maintaining contact with these persons.

As for FMSI-Asia, the regional representative office has been open for some time in Bangkok and follows the course of constituting itself a local entity, closely connected to the Rome-based Foundation, but recognized by the Thai authorities, so that it can organize in a more suitable way the work being done by the current delegate, Marco Blanco.

Part of the time was devoted to an exchange of opinions on various operational questions, including the possibility of setting up an “info-point” of FMSI during the International Marist Mission Assembly to be held in Nairobi from 17 to 27 September 2014. 

FMSI

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