Urgent Global News
Through programs around the world, La Salle International Foundation helps people lead a better life. Featured here are some critical issues deserving our attention.
New Zealand: Lasallian Women’s Symposium 2017
December 10, 2016
An International Lasallian Women’s Symposium will gather women from around the world in Auckland from 16-19 July 2017. The District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea (ANZPPNG) will be hosting this historic event- the first ever International Lasallian Women’s Symposium.
The theme for the symposium is “Lasallian Women as Change Makers”, recognizing the distinct role and identity of women in the Lasallian mission, especially as catalysts for change.
The symposium will build upon the success of similar forums across the Lasallian family, including the 2012 Lasallian Women’s Symposium held in Thailand.
Women currently make up around 54 percent of Lasallian Partners globally and yet they are under-represented in international leadership roles across the Lasallian family.
The critical role women play in the Lasallian mission was celebrated in the Institute Circular 461, published in 2010, which emphazised the importance of a more intuitive, relational and community-centered approach to our work as Lasallians in the years ahead. Clearly, Lasallian women have a pivotal role to play in ensuring the global Lasallian mission is vibrant and sustainable over coming decades.
The Auckland symposium will help to empower Lasallian women from around the world, giving them a unique networking opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences, enriching the Lasallian family as a whole.
Through a focus on small group and interactive sessions, the symposium will provide Lasallian women with a unique forum for mutual growth and support.
It will therefore be a highly rewarding, professional development experience for Lasallian women with long term benefits flowing on to their schools and other workplaces.
The four day program will begin with a distinctly Lasallian focus, examining the past and present contribution of Lasallian women to the mission of the Institute. The focus will then shift towards a contemporary focus on women as catalysts of change.
The Symposium is inclusive, invitational and welcome to all Lasallian women, as we come together, learning from each others insights and experiences and helping to enrich our ministry across many diverse settings across the modern world.
Women from Lasallian ministries in underdeveloped countries will be invited and La Salle International is seeking sponsors for these women who, because of financial reasons, would otherwise be unable to attend.
You can help us by going to our donation page and clicking on the “donate” button. On the last page of your donation, indicate that your gift is for this International Lasallian Women’s Symposium.
Syrian Refugees: A Brotherly Response
December 9, 2016
Question: How do talented teachers and students help Syrian refugees?
Answer: By offering what they have — a quality education.
Concerned about the evolving migrant/refugee crisis in the world (principally from Syria) and as prescribed by decisions made at the De La Salle Christian Brothers’ General Chapter, a small team from both the De La Salle and Marist Congregations visited the Middle East (Jordan and Lebanon) to see what possibilities for two religious teaching congregations to serve the Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are in government camps.
They suggested to the Superiors General of these congregations that De La Salle and Marist schools which are nearby these encampments be used to provide educational training for refugee children who otherwise are neglected. This initiative, crafted in Rome and involving two Brothers’ Congregations, was coined the Fratelli Project. (“Fratelli” means “Brothers” in Italian.)
Together, the De La Salle and Marist Brothers’ are (1) providing opportunities for refugee children to be placed into the regular classes offered by nearby De La Salle Schools; (2) offering special classes for children and adults during after-school hours and evening when the facilities are otherwise not occupied, (3) organizing and conducting youth activities for the refugees.
Needless to say, these operations would require additional funding in order to proceed. What makes this involvement propitious is that the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Marist Brothers have the facilities in place to be of immediate assistance (very little new construction is needed); there is interest by the local Brothers in doing this kind of work (they want to extend their services to these people); there is academic talent in the teachers (no need to “import” staff, but rather the program can utilize local talent); there is the buffering collaboration of another congregation (and we will be looking for other congregations to join the partnership); there is a directive from the General Chapter to move into this kind of work (as indicated by their “Beyond the Borders” mandate); and there is a vital educational service which can be provided . . . a service which is largely being ignored by other funding agencies. Clearly the time is right for such involvement.
This initiative has the support of both Superiors General and represents a new extension of Lasallian charism to the poor and underserved. Persons who wish to assist with the work of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Marist Brothers through the Fratelli Project are encouraged to send a check to La Salle International (see bottom of page) or to click here for a credit card or PayPal transfer.