A special event for all stakeholders in education on October 15 brings together formation and social agencies, institutions and organizations from around the world to forge an alliance promoting a more fraternal world, an aim close to Pope Francis’ heart. Focolarina Carina Rossa is part of the organizing team.

“Never before has there been such need to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism, and to restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity”. Pope Francis used his message for the launch of the Global Compact on Education to invite us to promote “a more open and inclusive education, including patient listening, constructive dialogue and better mutual understanding”. An international event will mark the Compact. An actual physical event has been postponed due to the pandemic. However, a virtual meeting will take place on 15 October at 2.30 pm (utc+2) in live streaming on Vatican News Youtube channels with simultaneous translation in English, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. We speak with Carina Rossa, a Focolarina from Argentina, who is part of the team organizing this event:

The Pope invites us to join an alliance on education to produce a change in mentality. How do you see this new way of thinking?
“The Pope underlines that education is at the basis of all social and cultural change, and he calls us to dedicate ourselves in this field. So the first change lies in conferring dignity to education. He goes on to attribute a goal to education, that of “changing the world”, and invites us to think of study as an instrument to tackle the challenges of our times: peace and citizenship, solidarity and development, dignity and human rights, care for our common home. The Pope denounces the fact that the educational Compact between family, school, society and cultures has broken down and needs to be fixed. So the change of mentality here involves educational agencies, social activists, international institutions and organizations, who must form alliances in order reach common goals and help to create a more fraternal world. To this end, the Pope has proposed a three step methodology: to place the human person at the centre, to capitalize on our best energies and to train individuals who are ready to offer themselves in service”.

Educating young people in what direction? Cultivating which values?
“The new generations are at the centre of the educational plan, because children, adolescents and youth are the ones who will change the world. The hope is for ‘new men and women’  who will be ‘united in diversity’, in constant dialogue, serving the values of peace, solidarity and universal fraternity, respecting human rights and the dignity of the human person”.

The international event launching the Compact was originally scheduled for 14 May. Because of the pandemic it was postponed to 15 October and will now be an online event. How are the preparations going?
“The pandemic forced us to rethink all our plans. So now, the October program will be the first step towards another worldwide event we hope to celebrate in the future with Pope Francis. He appointed the Congregation for Catholic Education to promote it, and the Alta Scuola Educare all’Incontro e alla Solidarietà (High School for Education to Encounter and Solidarity) of the LUMSA University of Rome is coordinating establishing relationships and getting the process underway. For example, a committee of organizations representing the world of education and formation on a global level has been set up. We are also selecting experiences on education from around the world which will be published on the event website, forming an Observatory of the Compact on Education. We are also collating the contributions presented throughout the preparatory meetings for publication.”

Claudia Di Lorenzi


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