January 4, 2016 — The Fe y Alegría Network, an international organization that offers children, teens and adults access to quality education, held two presentations last month on the Jesuit response to the global challenge of the right to education.
Hosted by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, the events highlighted Fe y Alegría’s six decades of experience providing quality, inclusive education to the most vulnerable communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
Fe y Alegría was started by Jesuit Father José Maria Vélaz on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela, in 1955. Today Fe y Alegría works in 23 countries, providing education programs to over 1.5 million people.
“One of the most impressive things about the Fe y Alegría model is their capacity to actively involve the entire community in the education process,” said Father William Kelley, SJ, Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference. “Parents are involved, fiercely defending and supporting their children’s education.”
Fr. Kelley presented at a Fe y Alegría event in December.
Fr. Kelley, who attended the events in Washington, D.C., and New York City, went on to say that in Fe y Alegría communities, “children and families are the main protagonists in their own development.”
The events also served as the official launch of Fe y Alegría’s new U.S.-based initiative, Friends of Fe y Alegría in the United States. Father Daniel Villanueva, SJ, Executive Director of Entreculturas-Fe y Alegría Spain, leads the new venture, which aims to create strategic alliances with U.S.-based institutions and Latino communities and raise awareness about the importance of defending the right to a quality education.
“Our goal is that individuals and institutions in the U.S. can
say, ‘I am part of a network that is changing the world through the power of
education’,” said Fr. Villanueva.
Fr. Daniel Villanueva, SJ, will lead the new Fe y Alegría initiative in the U.S.