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The Pope's education initiative prepares to make the leap to Europe

Scholas, Pope Francis' education initiative, is preparing for a major expansion. It's already present in more than 70 countries, and now it's arrived in Spain to prepare for its launch in schools throughout the Old Continent. The initiative promotes civic engagement of high school students. They work with young people from other schools to analyze problems facing their community and to present solutions. They also share educational projects with diverse students from other parts of the world.  It's an important project for the Pope, which he spends a lot of time on. In September 2014, he sponsored the launch of a virtual platform through this video conference with students from five continents. CHRISTIAN "I will ask you some questions. Do not be nervous.â? JOSE MARIA DEL CORRAL Scholas Global Director  "He is convinced that if young people are the protagonists of change and young people find the values that are in need, they can be an amazing transformative force.â? The global director of Scholas explains that the Pope promoted this project when he was still in Buenos Aires. Toward the end of the 90s, facing a terrible economic crisis in his country, he said the country must invest in education. He met with a diverse range of students: Muslims, Jews, and Christians who attend both public and private schools. He wants to help them work together to achieve a common goal: making care of the community something everyone is part of. Now he's hoping to do the same thing in Europe, beginning with Spain. JOSE MARIA DEL CORRAL Scholas Global Director  "We will see what the issues are, what problems young people in Spain have, and how they will find solutions to these problems...What the kids are telling us is 'Who do I go to do whatever the adults say must be done?' Because they can't find a place to do that now. They've found the opposite so far.â? The Scholas project is not an initiative supported by the Pope but one created by him. After two years of testing, he has decided to make it a pontifical foundation with his signature. It is the only foundation of its kind recognized by the Holy See. Family, mercy, education ... Pope Francis continues to expand the focus of his pontificate. Each theme requires ambitious projects with the help of not only Catholics, but also public figures, civil authorities, and even some famous soccer players. JRB/ATO AA/RR -VM -PR Up: FV #Mundo