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Rome Reports

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How does the pope's educational project work?

The future lies in the youth, but Pope Francis worries that young people live unmotivated lives without courage and without taking risks. POPE FRANCIS "It is sad to see a young person who retires at age 20, it is terrible." ; That is why, as a bishop, he encouraged a way of educating young people so they feel like they are the protagonists of change and can make a difference. He brought together young people from various schools to brainstorm how to solve the problems in their city. This was the beginning of what is now called Scholas, and is established in 190 countries. JOSÉ MARÍA DEL CORRAL Scholas World Director "The pope 20 years ago was launching this in Buenos Aires. He was a newcomer as a bishop in the midst of the crisis that Argentina lived. Twenty years later this experience is expanded to his diocese where he is bishop of Rome." The methodology of Scholas is the following: students from different schools meet and decide what problems they need to face. Then they create different solutions and proposals in groups, where the most voted choice is then presented to the local authorities in the city. In Rome, they decided to confront loneliness in two of its manifestations: indifference and discrimination. Throughout Italy, there are more and more immigrants entering schools who must adapt to a totally new environment. ENRIQUE EBO'O "At first, it was difficult because I did not understand anything. I speak French and I felt a little alone. Here I heard a phrase that says, 'we are all differently the same'. I thought it was a good saying because I do not see why someone has to laugh at me just because I am different." GIORGIA BAISERO "At first I came to do the Scholas project because I didn't have to spend hours in class. After a while, honestly, I started liking it. All this has helped me understand how others think and feel as though I identify with them because I discovered that I am not the only one who thinks in a certain way." PASQUALE NAPPI "One of the proposals we present is that there should be more places where people can be heard, like having a psychologist who helps the children who need it." With this method, Pope Francis reveals a new way of educating, where the protagonists are the young people. They reflect on their problems and seek solutions for themselves. Dialogue is key throughout the process and this leads to a much more active citizen culture. JRB/MB AA / Scholas / RR -FL -PR Up:MB