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The document puts the accent on the Marist commitment to work for the rights of children and adolescents

18/08/2013: Brazil

The Inter-American Marist Solidarity Network has placed at the disposition of the Provinces and Districts the document « Paths of Marist Solidarity in the Americas : rights of children and young people ».

The document is the mature fruit of the reflection and commitment of the Provinces and Districts of the Americas to work in a resolute and precise way for the rights of the children and young people of the continent. It presents the various situations of children,  adolescents and youth in the Americas and the institutional, ecclesial and international references of solidarity ; recalls the Marist solidarity programmes in the Americas ; brings together the voices of children, adolescents and young people, and offers some principles for guiding the defence of the rights of children and youth in the Americas.

The drafting of the document was co-ordinated by the Inter-American Sub-commission of Solidarity (2007-2011), attached to the Inter-American Mission Commission. The final process was the responsibility of the new Inter-American Sub-commission of Solidarity (2011-2014).

The document was constructed on the basis of the collaboration of 12 Provinces and Districts of America, based on information coming from 15 countries of the continent.

In the long course of its development, the document benefitted from the support of the  Conference of the Provincials of America (CIAP), which encouraged the process of  construction and approved its general lines at the meeting of September 2011, in Luján, Argentina.

For the composition of the document, editorial groups were formed for each chapter, representing the brothers and laity of the American Provinces and Districts. Varied and creative methodologies were presented for listening to the children and young people of the different contexts with a Marist presence. Their voices, their ‘dreams’, their complaints, their hopes and the situations where their rights are violated, were all collected. That is to say that the document attempts to carry out a broad study of the social, economic and cultural  realities and situations of these children and young people in the countries of the Americas, with the collaboration of the Provinces and Districts.

The document is structured thus :

0) Introduction ; 1) Situations of the children and young people in the Americas ; 2) Institutional, ecclesial and international references of solidarity ; 3) Itineraries of solidarity in the Americas ; 4) Voices and ‘dreams’ of the children and young people ; 5) Guiding Principles.

The document was launched on 4 June; it had already been printed in Brasil in Portuguese by the EDIPUCRS, of Porto Alegre, RS. As for the other languages, the files will be sent to each  Province and District for their printing at the local level.

Thedocument has its origin in the proposal of the 21st General Chapter inviting us to « look at the world with the eyes of poor children and youth » and to have « a significant presence among the poor ».

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