Message from the Executive Committee of Itaka-Escolapios

Our network in a situation of health and social emergency

In these moments of uncertainty and widespread concern about the health crisis of COVID-19, the Executive Committee wishes to share a message with those who are part of the Itaka-Escolapios teams. In the last few days we have been following the situation in the different demarcations of the network and we can say that, although the impact of the crisis has arrived in different times and ways to each country, it is now regretfully affecting all the places where we are present.

This is now manifested in confinement measures of different levels, temporary lockdowns of educational centres and non-formal education projects, as well as the cancellation of encounters of the Calasanz Movement and other activities we had scheduled. On the other hand, there are other projects such as homes or social orientation programmes that, because of their nature, are still working in these complex situations, giving support to the people especially in need of support and attention at this time. And, in general, we know that in all our presences we are trying to keep, as far as possible, the permanent connection with the people that participate in our projects, although the circumstances often prevent it from being in person.

In addition to the widespread concern everywhere, we must especially consider those places that are continuously experiencing a situation of greater health, social and educational weaknesses, because of the more serious effects that this crisis will have.

On the other hand, beyond the impact of this crisis at the local level, there are also some more global or transversal circumstances that concern us, because they are important for the Itaka-Escolapios network and they will be affected: the solidarity campaign “Sharing life” (which was being carried out in several places and being prepared with enthusiasm in others), or other initiatives to promote the Piarist projects and to get resources with which to develop our mission. The general teams of the Network are already evaluating the situation and seeing how to minimize the negative impact it will have. In any case, we are sure that the coming times are going to be difficult and therefore we have to be able not only to maintain, but also to strengthen all the channels of solidarity.

With all this, from the Executive Committee we want to inform you of the following:

1.- A word of encouragement and fraternity to all the people who are part of Itaka-Escolapios. In circumstances like the present one, it is even more valuable to be part of a Piarist network like the one we form, which makes us co-responsible for the mission, in an effective way and no matter where we are.

2.- Also, a word of thanks for the work and dedication that so many people, volunteers and professionals, are still giving these days in the projects of Itaka-Escolapios. Working under difficult conditions but striving to respond creatively to the needs of our children, young people and the most vulnerable people.

3.- We reaffirm that Itaka-Escolapios is at the service of the Pious Schools, specifically to the Order and its demarcations and the Fraternity, to collaborate to the extent of the possibilities of our network in all that is needed.

4.- In this exceptional moment that we are living, we will continue to be in contact from the network with the demarcational managers and teams, to be aware of the evolution of this situation and possible steps and measures to be taken in this regard. In any case, we also encourage you to take the initiative to contact us with any news, proposals or actions that can make us help you more, through the usual communication channels and with the Executive Commission.

5.- Likewise, Itaka-Escolapios invites everyone to pay attention to all the dispositions and measures dictated by the institutions in defence of public health, being exemplary in the responsible fulfilment of them. Also, to join the civic and ecclesiastical initiatives of solidarity and voluntary work that arise in each place, always with a view to the rights and needs of the most excluded people.

6.- Finally, we share and encourage you to spread a message of hope in these uncertain times, which make us more vulnerable, but at the same time call us to rediscover the importance of important values in which we want to live and educate: commitment in solidarity, closeness to the poorest and weakest people, community and the invitation to live with faith and depth situations that touch us deeply in the human aspect, as Calasanz did.

Executive Committee of Itaka-Escolapios

25 March 2020