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Solidarity and commitment in the educational works of the Province

18/05/2014: France

Parting from the intuition of the pastoral context of the Province “To make Jesus Christ known and loved”, the mission secretariat has dedicated various sessions of work and reflection on the area of solidarity and commitment in the educational works of the Province. Angel Domingo, the SED delegate, has helped us in this. We have centred our reflection on the model of solidarity we are offering as Marists (the solidarity-spectacle, the solidarity-campaign, the solidarity -cooperation, the solidarity-encounter which can transform us). In this reflection, we have observed that we can be criticised with regard to some models of solidarity. It should be noted that at determined times all are necessary, for all start from an essential element which is making people aware, first step of the process which leads them to beginning the journey leading to the solidarity which transforms.

Another aspect of our reflection concerned Education by Development. This concept is at the base of our model of education and the way we help children and young people to live reality and engage with it. Education by development (EbD) should be understood as a process which, by means of the knowledge and critical analysis of reality, arouses critical reflection, attitudes and actions in persons and makes them responsible and active actors  (engaged), in the construction of civil society, in the North as in the South, engaged in solidarity (as co-responsibility in development where all the persons are involved) and in the transformation of unjust structures and relationships. 

Finally, the 3rd aspect on which we worked during this reflection was in relation with volunteer service as an essential aspect in the work in this area with children and youth, for as well as being a tool for the transformation of society, it fosters, in the volunteer, personal dynamisms of vocational discovery and engagement in solidarity with the pain of others. For this reason, we furthered the projects of apprenticeship and service, an educational methodology combining the processes of apprenticeship and community service in a single well articulated project, in which the participants will learn by responding to the real needs of the environment in order to improve it.

In the course of this work of reflection in this area, each animation organisation of the educational works was able to compare its situation with that in each country and begin to imagine different projects, at the local as well as the provincial level, in view of the animation of this area so important in our pastoral action  and which has a very positive echo among educators, children and young people

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