2010-12-23 GENERAL HOUSE

Through the eyes of a child

Dear Brothers and Friends, Christmas is now very close and we want to take the opportunity to send you our greetings and to thank you all for our work together.This year was another rich in initiatives for the FMSI, under the capable and purposeful guidance of Br. Rick Carey (U.S.A.).Br. Jim Jolley (Australia) was joined in November by Br. Manel Mendoza (Spain) in the work of advocacy and education in the Rights of Children in the FMSI office in Geneva. The group will be complete with the arrival soon of Br. Vicente Falqueto from Brasil.During 2010, the staff of Geneva have worked with Marist communities in Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Malawi, Australia, and New Zealand on the publication of reports on the situation of Children?s Rights in those countries, in support of the Periodic review (Universal Periodic Review -UPR) of the United Nations. This is a very important instrument by means of which civil society can provide information on what actions single states have undertaken in the defence and promotion of human rights (in this case, the Rights of Children) and draw up detailed denunciations where these states have not been faithful to their promises. The participation of the local Brothers and Marist Laity has been fundamental in the drawing up of these documents. From their proposals, cases, reflections, the fruit of their daily work and training, have emerged recommendations to submit to the States. These reports are, in fact, ?alternatives? to those published by the Governments and provide a voice for those who remain outside official reports. Br. Jim Jolley has also carried out numerous training sessions on the Rights of Children with Brothers, lay people and students in Marist schools in Italy, the Philippines (MAPAC), Kenya, and Australia. With regard to solidarity projects, the Foundation this year has been engaged together with the local Marist communities in 70 projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and Eastern Europe. The projects have been funded through the micro project fund, the collaboration of other Marist organizations of solidarity (SED, MAPS, Marist school groups) and the support of various outside donors. The interventions have mainly concerned the building of schools, centres of informal education and professional formation, and the training of teachers and animators. Among them, some are projects of the Mission ad Gentes communities. Also in course is the evaluation of the first financial interventions with the funds collected for Haiti.With the hope of being able to always do better, with the help of all of you, for so many children and young people who today see their rights negated, we wish you a Christmas of Peace and rich in blessings.The God who comes among us with the tenderness of a child tells us that he is not a God to be searched for but to be welcomed, and with Him and like Him, to direct our existence towards others.___________The FMSI staff


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