Pope Francis at Scholas Event - PHOTO.VA -L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Mozambique: “Scholas” Educational Experience Arrives in Africa

To Promote Peace Thanks to the Culture of Encounter

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The “Scholas Occurrentes” educational experience, launched under the auspices of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires and now promoted by Pope Francis, has just arrived in Mozambique, first African country where young people can experience the methods of “Scholas”, under the form of “Scholas Citizenship,” an event echoed by the Vatican’s media.
It will be at “Missao Mangunze” that, over a week, some 180 young people of different schools of Mangunze, Manjacaze, Chongoene and Xai Xai will gather to work together on the problems that worry them most: drug use, sexual relations, and school absenteeism.
They are accompanied by an international “Scholas” team and 30 local volunteers formed months previously with the “Scholas” methodolgy in Argentina.
The students presented their conclusions and proposals to the school and civil authorities, one being a representative of the government and the other the parish priest, Father Juan Gabriel Arias.
One of the problems addressed was the distance to arrive at school: 5 to 10 kilometers there and back. They hope that school transport will be established and also a better quality of teaching, of formation of teachers, the disappearance of discrimination on the latter’s part and equipment. They also lamented the “gender” violence.
They highlighted the problem of traffickers selling alcohol and drugs to minors in school surroundings, and questioned the authorities on respect for the law.
The teachers themselves welcomed the initiative, in the perspective of what Pope Francis says: if one wants to change the reality, one must begin by changing the education.
Today “Scholas Occurrentes” is an international organization of pontifical right, present in 190 countries, which boasts a network of more than 446,000 schools.
Its mission is to promote the integration of all pupils worldwide thanks to technological, sports, and artistic proposals envisioning an education to the culture of encounter.
The initiative was born at Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2001, when Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the Archbishop, under the name of “Neighbors’ Schools and “Sister Schools,” made up of pupils of public and private schools, of all religions, in order to educate young people to be committed to the common good.
It’s a non-profit international organization, promoted by Pope Francis to “re-establish the educational pact,” with the cooperation of actors of society in view of a “culture of encounter for peace thanks to education.”

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Anita Bourdin

France. Journalist accreditated to the Holy See press office since 1995. Started Zenit in french in january 1999. Classical litterature (Paris IV-Sorbonne). Master in journalism (IJRS Bruxelles). Biblical theology (PUG, Rome).

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