Jesuit African Social Centers Network (JASCNET) and the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN)-Ecology organized the JESAM Water Week from 31 August to 4 September 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya with the theme Access to safe drinking water for all, a work focus of GIAN-Ecology.
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In the year 2000 global development goals were set for the next 15 years in two international gatherings: the World Education Forum celebrated in Dakar, during which the goal of a quality, free, ‘Education for all’ regardless of gender or background was developed, whilst at the United Nations Millennium Summit the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ goals were subscribed to by the international community, with a quarter of the goals being specifically focused towards education, specifically a complete primary school education for all children and elimination of gender discrimination in education.
Free basic education which is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 26th article as a chance of schooling for everyone became a dangerous good in a continent that lacks appropriate structures to participate in the international competitiveness.
In most of the African educative system there are two kinds of schools. Private schools where both infrastructures and salaries of the teachers are exclusive responsibility of the parents of the students. Governments control the quality of the education and consent academic diplomas but they do not give any subsidies. Free basic education becomes a fairy tale.
Father José María Vélaz, Fe y Alegría founding father used to say that social justice starts with educative justice. On the current-day world, that some define as “the knowledge society”, this is truer than ever before. Years, and above all quality, of education recieved represent an unparalleled advantage to reach “the good living”.
For Jesuits, who are responsible for the education of millions of people throughout the whole earth’s surface, this is a fundamental part of their mission of servicing to the faith and promotion of justice in the dialogue with cultures and religions of the world.