Nairobi (Kenya). The Council of the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) at which Professor Martha Séïde of the Institute Faculty is a delegate member, met on April 25-28, 2018 at Nairobi, Kenya for its annual appointment.
In addition to the regular statutory points on the agenda, the “I can” project, launched by the organization in December 2017, was taken into consideration. It is a project that intends to respond to the solicitations of the Encyclical Laudato sì of Pope Francis on the care of our common home, also taking into account the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) by 2030.
The project was developed under the patronage of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the collaboration of the UISG, USG, and other associations and educational organizations.
The title of the project underlines the protagonism of the children and young people of Salesian schools and educational centers in the conviction that children and young people need an opportunity to change the world. Teachers and educators are called to accompany them in identifying a challenge that they will face in a critical, creative, collaborative, and communicative way by putting in their heart, head, hands, and feet according to the methodology of Design for Change.
This methodology, founded in 2001 in the city of Ahmedabad in West India by Kiran Bir Sethi, has become an international movement present in 65 nations guaranteeing educational excellence.
The Pedagogical Counselor, Juan Antonio Ojeda Ortis, affirms “Any project or history of change consists of four simple phases: feel the need or the problems; imagine new solutions; act and build change; share their story to infect and inspire as many people as possible. The goal is to create a global chain of children and young people in action and change the world step by step. To do this, four basic competences (the four pedagogical Cs) are brought into play: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication”.
For the dissemination of the project, the OIEC has drawn up a four-step timetable:
– December 2017: launch and disseminate – knowledge and start of projects or stories of change and publication on the DFC platform.
– From December 2017 to May 2019: Implementation of change projects for children and young people in the world …
– November 2019: World Celebratory Meeting in Rome; share stories of change made up to that date; bring together 8,000-9,000 children and young people, to tell the world what to do to treat and improve the “common home”; how they are responding to the challenges presented by Laudato sì and the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS).
– Continue to implement projects and stories of change. Infecting and creating a worldwide network of children and young people that facilitate a change in people, contexts, and build a more human, and ecological world in solidarity.
The Secretary General, Philippe Richard, affirms that with this project, “L’OIEC has committed itself with the Congregation for Catholic Education to respond to the challenges of Laudato sì, in its network of 210,000 schools present in more than a hundred countries. The Design For Change methodology will help us promote the transformation of people and their contexts through education.
The world can change, and it is the younger generation that can do it. Catholic educators need to accompany these young people in their work of building a common home, peace, international justice, sustainable development, and combating poverty.