Last Tuesday on the 19th of November OIDEL, together with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, The Permanent Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Caritas in Veritate Foundation, Catholic International Education Office and Bureau International Catholique de l’Enfance, organized an event in the United Nations, Geneva.
The title of the event was « The right to education. Towards a Renewed Commitment to Education » and was introduced by His Eminence Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. He remarked that “… education is challenging, but today we have means. Our responsibility is bigger, but we have more means and possibilities”
His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, was the keynote speaker and made a deep reflect of the right to education towards a global compact on education.
The panel of the event was composed by Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, who specifically developed an ethical reflection on the Convention on the Right of the Child.
Ms. Chantal Paisant, from the International Catholic Child Bureau and representative to UNESCO, who talk about the Education and Value for Inclusive Societies, and insisted on the education as a fundamental right of our societies.
Mr. Jan De Groof, professor at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium), and at the National Research University- Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia), UNESCO Chair for the Right to Education and former UNESCO Chargé de Mission. He said that “… everything is about values, and a child is not a creature of the State. The parents are the primary responsible and the State should promote freedom of education”.
Ms. Inès de Franclieu, Founder of “Com’ je t’aime”, who made a deep and reflection about emotional and affective education.
Three short videos and testimonies on the work of faith-based organizations on the ground were shown. We can highlight the Madaris Foundation with its volunteer program, that aims to improve the quality of education in the Bangsamoro areas of the Philippines by fostering a new environment of shared learning, respect, and cooperation between and among Islamic and Catholic schools. Or the Fratelli project, in Liban, that involves 600 refugee children, 200 from Iraq and 400 from Syria, and Lebanese children. Created by the Marist Brothers and La Salle Brothers brings socio-educational activities and vocational training to these children and young people to help contribute to their social integration.
There were some interventions from the audience as Claire de Lavernette and Ignasi Grau from OIDEL, Amparo Alonso Head of International Delegation from Caritas Internationalis in Geneva, and Sarah B. Garcia from IIMA among others.
All the participants were able to take home a copy of “Education as a Driver to Integral Growth and Peace. Ethical Reflections on the Right to Education” by the Caritas in Veritate Foundation. Also available online: http://www.fciv.org/downloads/WP12-Book-web.pdf