There are more than 65 million displaced persons and refugees in the world. It is a drama not only affecting the countries from which these people flee but, above all, the countries that host them. That is why the University world does not want to remain foreign to this flow of people, whose situation demands reflection and action.
The International Federation of Catholic Universities has created a network that will include universities from all over the world to help alleviate this emergency. They will start by spreading a mentality of welcome among their students and design distance education programs for people in refugee camps.
FR. RENÉ MICALLEF
'We want to have a network that reflects how to educate our students on the subject of migration and asylum, because, sometimes, our students are told lies about this issue. The university has a responsibility as a voice in civil society. We also want to contribute in order to educate public opinion and help those who must make decisions.'
For Pope Francis, the tragedy of refugees and displaced persons holds a fundamental place in his mind. One example of this is that he personally oversees the Vatican office for migrants and refugees.
FR. FABIO BAGGIO
Undersecretary, Discastery for Integral Human Development
'When we presented to Pope Francis the idea of supporting this conference of Catholic universities committed to this type of work, he not only gave his approval, but encouraged us to be present within the university world and in the academic world.'
A four-day conference at the Gregorian University in Rome will outline this project. At the moment there are 12 universities around the world who have joined the network that will continue to grow to promote a fair and humane reflection on the phenomenon of migration, not related to any ideology.