2015-06-19 ITALY

Pope receives over 1,000 testimonies of Latin American children and youth

Three Marist brothers, who work for the rights of children and adolescents, handed Pope Francis a book that reflects the voices of over one thousand children and adolescents from Latin America.

“I felt very encouraged, he gave me strength,” said brother Vicente Sossai Falchetto, of the Marist International Solidarity Foundation, on June 18.

Brothers Vicente, Evaristus Kasambwe and Francis Jumbe handed the pontiff the book titled ‘Los niños no son el futuro, pero el presente’ (children are not the future, they are the present) just after his weekly general audience on June 17 in Saint Peter’s Square.

The book was written by the Latin American and Caribbean Movement for Children (MMI-LAC) and published in collaboration with FMSI Cono Sur.

“I told him we are Marist brothers and that I had this publication on Latin American children and he answered me with a smile,” told Br Vicente. “Everything was so fast.”

“He first looked at me and only after I mentioned the word ‘children’ he looked at the book,” he added.

The three brothers work for the Foundation, known as FMSI, in Geneva, Switzerland, where they defend and promote the rights of children and young people at the United Nations.

The book, originally in Spanish, includes comments from over a thousand children of 10 countries, of which many work for non-governmental organizations that help poor children.

“What they say in the book is that it is important to listen to them and to speak about them,” said Br Vicente.

“They want to receive education, health and rights in order for them to change the future, and unless they receive these, they cannot change it,” he added.


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