2017-02-10 ITALY

Online child protection programme to be introduced

Members of the general administration met with the Centre for Child Protection in Rome on Jan. 31 to discuss introducing its eLearning programme within the Marist Institute.

The programme includes topics such as understanding perpetrators for the safeguarding of minors, clinical care for offenders, therapeutical care for victims, and prevention and red flags. 

The Centre for Child Protection is part of the Pontifical Gregorian University. Its president, Father Hans Zollner, is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Br Emili, the director of the Marist International Solidarity Foundation Onlus For the benefit of children, Marzia Ventimiglia, and FMSI president Brother Michael De Waas took part in the meeting with Fr Hans and the Centre’s director, Karlijn Demasure.

They discussed introducing the Centre’s distance learning programme (E-learning) for the safeguarding of minors to allow Marists to receive formation at university.

“We are glad and grateful that the Marist Brothers have decided to work together with the Centre for Child Protection-Global Alliance network so that children and adolescents can live and grow in a safe and caring environment, as Jesus Christ calls us to do,” affirmed Fr Hans on Feb. 4. 

“We believe that we must reach as many people as possible, people who are engaging actively in the safeguarding of minors and who are aware of the necessity and feasibility of prevention,” he told the general house press office. “In a reality as massive and diverse as the Catholic Church, we want local agents – dioceses, universities, schools, etc. – to put in place what Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have insistently asked for.”

On Feb. 9 and 10, FMSI is meeting with lecturers of universities from Spain, Brazil, Peru and Mexico in Rome to brief them on the programme.

The eLearning is available in English, Spanish, Italian and German and it is currently being translated into French.

The Centre for Child Protection also offers a diploma from February to June, as well as international conferences and research projects.

Brother Fortune Chakasara, of the Child Rights and Protection Commission in Zimbabwe, was the first Marist Brother to receive the diploma in 2016. Brother John Katumbi, of Malawi, and Brother Shanthi Liyanage of Sri Lanka, started the same course on Feb. 6.


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