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Video Chat with Pope Francis! Students with disabilities ask the Pope some questions

2015-02-05

It's not everyday that one can video chat with the Pope, but that's exactly what happened on Thursday afternoon. 

Special needs students from the U.S, Spain, India and Brazil talked with the Pope about how they deal with their disabilities. Special focus was given on how technology helps them in school. 

From Nebraska Isaiah, who is a junior in high school, suffers from limited motor skills. So, he asked the Pope for some advice

ISAIAH BOWER
"The use of technology has helped me overcome the problem of getting my thoughts out fast enough. What do you do when you face something difficult?"

POPE FRANCIS
"First, not get mad. It's not good to get mad. You need to stay calm. Then, I try to find a way to overcome the challenge. If I can't, then I tough it out.” 

There was also a group of students from Madrid, who work on production and filming projects.  Some were more concerned with the Pope's tech skills...

"Hey Pope Francis, I'd like to ask you a question. Do you like to take pictures and then download them on your computer?

POPE FRANCIS
"Do you want me to tell you the truth...I'm pretty bad with computers. I don't know how to manage them. How embarrassing!

From computers, the conversation quickly turned to tablets...

POPE FRANCIS
"Do you like to work with the tablet? Is it hard?"

CHILD
"Do you have a tablet?"

POPE FRANCIS
"No, I don't..."

CHILD
"Oh, you don't"

The so called Google hangout is part of an educational project the Pope is supporting. It's called Scholas, and its mission is to improve education globally through an international exchange of ideas, cultures and knowledge. All under the umbrella of technology. 

Since the Pope joined, more than 400,000 schools have been involved worldwide. The goal is to eventually reach 60 million students. 

"Good evening.

From India, there was a Minosh. A 13 year old hearing impaired student in 6th grade.  He started learning about computers three years ago and it has changed his education for the better. 

MINOSH
"Now when I don't understand anything with my subject, I go to the internet and search pictures. Then I know. It's like having another teacher.” 

Even though the project is all about helping students, the Pope reminded them, that often it's them, who despite their disabilities, end up teaching life lessons to adults. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Every one of us has a gift inside of us. If we keep it locked, it stays hidden. If we share it with others, our treasure multiplies through the gifts of others. What I want to say is that each and every one of you, has a gift.” 

Towards the end, a group of students from Mozambique also thanked the Pope for receiving computers through Scholas. Several soccer stars from Footbol Club Barcelona are also supporting the cause and the team's president was there to show support. 


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