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The fight against the physical and psychological abuse of children

09/05/2019: General House

After three years as a joint working group, the end of 2019 will see the first part of the agreement between FMSI, the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUC PR) and OEA (the body specializing in childhood for the American Organization of States - OEA) whose objective is to fight child violence.

One of the purposes of this project, set up in 2016, is to investigate how best to eradicate violence against children in Latin America. In2017, an educator, Ana María Eyng (of PUC PR) visited six programmes working with vulnerable in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala and Chile. She interviewed more than 300 children, adolescents, parents, mothers and professionals involved. Of the 6 programmes analyzed, two involve the Marist Brothers: 

  • Marist Community: located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. 
  • Truce - Marist Community Programmes: an initiative carried out by the Marist Foundation for Solidarity (GESTA) in Chile.

The preliminary results of the investigation - which identified some factors concerning children at risk -were presented during the Assembly of the Marist International Network of Institutions for Higher Education in Lima, Peru, which took place from the 1st to the 6th of April.

With the object of ensuring that children and adolescents can also be informed on the topic, as well as the executive summaries translated into Portuguese, English and Spanish There is available a user-friendly version produced by the students of the Marist School Santa María (Montevideo, Uruguay).

The fight against violence is a key topic for the Marist Institute since its foundation. The fundamental intuition of Marcellin Champagnat arose from the shock he felt on seeing his teacher's use of corporal punishment, in a rural school in France at the beginning of the XIX century. Until the end of his life, Father Champagnat inculcated in his Marist educators the importance of eradicating physical and psychological abuse in schools.

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