After an anxious wait, Pope Francis arrived on the African Continent, having as his first stop Mozambique, a country in which Scholas Occurrents, the Foundation created by His Holiness, has one of its 12 premises, which has been implementing several programs for three years.
During his visit today, Thursday, the Pope met, in the Holy See’s Nunciature in Maputo, with 20 student-delegates of Scholas from different cities, such as Mangunze, Muvamba, Xai-Xai and Tofo, representing the more than 2,700 of those that take part in the Scholas Citizenship (FutVal and Surf) programs. In this personal meeting with His Holiness, the young people spoke about the problems that affect them and the plans they have to overcome them in each of their communities.
Constantino, 15, a participant and formator of FutVal in Mangunze, expressed his emotion after the meeting. “I thank Pope Francis for the very nice Scholas project, and I ask him for more programs to be carried out in the African Continent. FutVal is a game that gives us happiness; it’s a way of eliminating racism, discrimination and to be more human. It’s a great blessing to be a formator of FutVal.
Scholas Boasts More than Two Years of Activities in Mozambique
The Scholas Foundation has started important initiatives in Mozambique. Outstanding among them is the first edition of Scholas Citizenship, a foundational program of Scholas, in Mangunze in 2017, when it brought together some 200 pupils of six schools of the area, to work jointly in the solution of the problems that most concerned them as youths.
For Enrique Palmeyro, Scholas’ worldwide Director, “this way of educational transformation through sport, art and technology is developing with great fruitfulness in Mozambique.”
“Scholas stimulates the teaching of values, such as honesty, resilience, team work, through surfing and soccer, and today we re working so that this program will reach ever more young people,” he said.
In 2018, it was the turn of sports: FutVal’s program and Scholas’ Surf Club. In August of this year, over 200 young people of the Gaza province took part in the soccer pioneer experience with values, which had the support of civil and religious Associations and of the Government of the Province of Gaza. Scholas’ Surf Club was also born that same year in Tofo. It’s an innovative proposal that today is serving as inspiration to be implemented in other regions. Children and adolescents learned not only to lose their fear of water and to climb on a surfboard, but also the dignity of living with meaning.
So the Pope was able to meet today in person with some of the youths that took part in the virtual inauguration of the Scholas headquarters in Mozambique on May 11, 2018.