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The official launch of Fe y Alegría’s new U.S.-based initiative, Friends of Fe y Alegría in the United States left some important statements on the right to education and on the work that Fe y Alegría’s movement has been doing for over 60 years to promote learning opportunities for all.

Along with Fr. Daniel Villanueva, Executive Director of Entreculturas-Fe y Alegría Spain, Fr. William Kelley, S.J., Secretary for Social and International Ministries and President of Magis Americas and Carlos Vargas, Executive Director of Fe y Alegría Ecuador,  Lucía Rodríguez, FIFyA Public Advocacy Coordinator made several relevant points on the global challenge of the right to education that we now have to face by giving a brave response to the Sustainable Development Agenda that have been just signed a few weeks ago and which will set the global goals for a more sustainable, free of hunger world.

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“Seventeen major global goals were agreed upon to address the universal challenges we face today such as extreme poverty, the growing inequality of opportunities, and climate change. It is a global agreement for the next fifteen years that demands that every State around the world take certain concrete steps towards the commitment of human rights, peaceful coexistence and environmental sustainability.

According to Goal Number 4 of this important international “agreement”, by the time we reach 2030, every person around the world should enjoy quality education and life-long learning opportunities.

Since 1948, lifelong education for every person has been recognized as a Fundamental Human Right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is not an insignificant right, given the fact that it is one that enhances the access to the rest of the human rights and it also enables the practice of fundamental freedoms.  And yet, reality shows us that this right is systematically violated in every corner of the world.

It is hard to believe that in the twenty first century there are still almost 800 million youth and adults who cannot read nor write while at the same time the other part of the world population can access the largest library through an internet connection and just one simple click. (…)”

“(…) Almost 50,000 people, Jesuits and collaborators from around the world work every day so that the right to education becomes a reality for every person and in every society without discrimination of any kind due to race, social class, language, culture, religion or sex. We strive for an education that builds people committed with the transformation of their communities, countries and the world,  with creativity, skills and values.

How do we do it? In the first place, by directly serving more than 3 million children, youth, and adults in 112 countries. More than half of those 3 million belong to the most vulnerable groups, to the most impoverished, to those who live on the margins of society. But we are not content by proclaiming the right to education and providing direct educational services, although these activities are much needed.(…)”

You can find the whole interview on the EduJesuit website by clicking here