Here are a few words to present, on behalf of the Executive Committee, the new 2020-21 Solidarity Campaign of the Itaka-Escolapios Network, which we have entitled “(RE)START TO TRANSFORM”.
As we know, this campaign comes within a very special context, which is extraordinary for Itaka-Escolapios around the world: the situation of the pandemic and the global crisis resulting from it. Its consequences have been affecting the Itaka-Escolapios projects throughout the world, and will continue to do so.
There are the health effects, which are the immediate effects and vary in their severity depending on the places, which are very concerning in some countries because of the prevalence of this disease together with others and because of the precarious means they have to face it.
And there are, of course, the economic, social and educational effects, which are severe and even devastating for the most vulnerable populations, and heavily affect our schools and non-formal education projects in the most impoverished countries.
Therefore, this is a campaign in response to very adverse circumstances for the Piarist Mission. On this occasion, it is not about focusing on a particular country or a particular area of our action, but rather the entire Piarist Mission. It is being seriously affected, and special concern falls, no doubt, on working with the most vulnerable and impoverished people.
On the one hand, we wish to get closer and to know how the different presences and projects are living through the situation. On the other hand, we wish to increase the solidarity support so that these Piarist projects with the poor and vulnerable populations can be sustained, and continue adapting to the new situation.
I end with a special call to actively participate and contribute to this solidarity initiative. At Itaka-Escolapios, we need, more than ever, this campaign to be a success in terms of awareness and the mobilization of resources. The situation we are facing is complicated, but we are sure that we can overcome it, and that our network may even get stronger thanks to the commitment and support of so many people who participate and trust Itaka-Escolapios, as the solidarity platform and promotion of the Pious Schools that we are. We hope so. Many thanks.