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Por Ciara Beuster
Oct 16th, 2019

During the first week of October I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the 1st Congress on Global Citizenship hosted by “Rede Jesuíta de Educação”, the Brazilian Network of Jesuit Schools, in “Colégio São Luís” School in São Paolo.

The Congress was a wonderful opportunity to get to know teachers from the schools in Brazil and to share perspectives, best practices and resources on educating for Global Citizenship. One of the pre-requisites for the participants attending the Congress was to complete the Global Citizenship Course on Educate Magis. This meant we all had a shared understanding and starting point which helped facilitate rich conversations and sharing throughout the days we spent together.

There were approximately 380 participants – teachers, school leadership teams and a delegation of students from each of the Jesuit Schools in Brazil, as well as a number of guests invited from outside of Brazil. The participation of students in the Congress highlighted the importance of not only speaking amongst teachers and staff but also listening to students when we speak about education and made this importance a reality as students participated in the entire Congress.

The Program began with an opening mass on the evening of October 2nd. On Oct 3rd and 4th we listened to interesting and thought-provoking Keynote Presentations by Fr. José Alberto Mesa (Secretariat for Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education for the Society of Jesus), Dr. Fernando Reimers (Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice in International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of The International Education Policy Program at Harvard University), Prof. Dr. Bernadette Gatti (Researcher for the Paulista Academy of Education and President of the State Council of Education of São Paulo) and Fr. Luiz Fernando Klein (Education Delegate for CPAL).  Over these two days participants had the chance to attend 3 workshops on different Global Citizenship Experiences and Projects, as well as a panel discussion.

On behalf of Educate Magis I facilitated 3 of these workshops and participated in one panel discussion, together with Mora Podesta (Director of the Quality System in School Management, FLACSI) and Ir. Raimundo Barros (Director of Rede Jesuíta de Educação). At the end of each day participants met in smaller groups to reflect and share on their learnings from that day and the day ended with an Ignatian Examen.

The Congress was a 5-year celebration of “Rede Jesuíta de Educação” and a reinforcement of the commitment to provide a Global Citizenship Education.

As a Network, the history of “Rede Jesuíta de Educação” (RJE) began with the desire to be united and to live together, respecting and celebrating the differences. RJE was established in 2014 as a result of the unification of the former Jesuit Provinces in the country into one single Jesuit Province of Brazil. Currently, the network consists of 17 Jesuit Schools, and promotes collaboration and an integrated work, based on a shared identity, mission and sense of apostolic body.

It was a wonderful experience to be part of this 1st Congress on Global Citizenship and I look forward to continuing our conversations and sharing online together with more schools from the global community.

Follow this link for information/photos/videos about the 1st Congress on Global Citizenship.