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Brothers from Africa and Asia receive child protection diploma



The Marist Institute and the Gregorian University’s Centre for Child Protection

07/07/2017: Italy - Photo gallery

Brother Shanthi Liyanage of Sri Lanka and Brother John Katumbi of Malawi were awarded a diploma on June 14 from the Centre for Child Protection in Rome, Italy.

They are the second and third Brothers to receive the diploma after Brother Fortune Chakasara of the Child Rights and Protection Commission in Zimbabwe – the first Brother to receive it in 2016.

The Centre, which belongs to the Gregorian Pontifical University, offers the four-month diploma course as well as an E-Learning programme. It will also soon be launching a new two-year Master in Safeguarding, that will be offered at the University.

Brothers Shanthi and John were among the 25 students from 19 countries to receive the diploma this year.

Br Shanthi, from the South Asia Province, affirmed in his final paper that “the Marist educators in South Asia must make a serious commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of children who come under their care.”

In the guidelines presented in his paper, titled ‘Guidelines for the protection of children from sexual abuse in Marist Institutions in South Asia,’ he encourages “some basic level of performance required for Marist Institutions to establish a safe environment for children and minimize the risk of being victimized by child sexual abuse and exploitation.”

In Br John’s paper titled ‘Marist Schools creating a Culture that Protects St Charles Lwanga Secondary School Balaka-Malawi,’ he stresses the need for wider participation in safeguarding children.

“The whole community is involved in raising the child high above abuse risks creating a protective environment where a child is safe and secure,” affirms Br John.

Members of the general administration met with the Centre for Child Protection in January to discuss introducing its E-Learning programme within the Institute to offer Marists the possibility of receiving formation on child protection at university.

From the next academic year onwards, the E-Learning programme will be available in two Marist universities – Universidad Marcelino Champagnat in Peru and Centro Universitario Cardenal Cisneros - Universidad de Alcalá in Spain.

The Institute is hoping it will also soon be available at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR) in Brazil as well as at the Universidad Marista de Mérida in Mexico.

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