How has education sparked a change in your life?
What can we do to help promote quality education for those living in vulnerable and marginalized communities?
These are some of the questions the Friends of Fe y Alegría in the U.S. team posed to students at Georgetown Preparatory School and through a breakout session and booth at the Ignatian Solidarity Network Teach-In For Justice. Together, we reflected on the importance of quality education and achieving educational justice and encouraged students to think of concrete actions that they can take on to promote the right to education in their school communities.
Saskia Alquinga, Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has worked for the past six years leading pastoral work and youth movements at Fe y Alegría Ecuador encouraged students to take in the images of Fe y Alegría’s recently launched youth network, Red Generación 21, that reflect community, generosity, connectivity, and invited students to recognize themselves as members of a global Ignatian family that extends beyond the walls of their campuses to some of the most rural, hard to reach places in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
La Silla Roja, or The Red Chair, is a concrete way for students and teachers to get involved in the struggle for educational justice and to connect to the broader Ignatian community. This annual global citizenship campaign is promoted by Friends of Fe y Alegría in the U.S. through the Hemispheres Initiative, as well as globally together with Entreculturas-Fe y Alegría Spain and the Educate Magis community. We were heartened to see so many students, teachers and campus ministers who already knew of or are interested in implementing La Silla Roja campaign at their schools.
Here, we leave you with a few reflections from students on how education has transformed their lives:
– Education has given me the courage to seek a career and lifestyle that is focused on social services. I am passionate about giving service to others in need and this passion was and is strengthened everyday through education.
– Education has not only opened by eyes, but my heart to others.
– Education has taught me to respect other cultures, people, religions and ways of thinking while at the same time opening my eyes to a new and better way to see the world.
– Education has sparked change in my life by opening my eyes and exposing me to better and unlimited opportunities that my country wouldn’t have offered me. It has given me motivation to represent those who don’t have access to education.
– Education has sparked a change in my life by helping me overcome borders and helping me better understand the struggles of other people.