Gonçalo da Silveira Foundation

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Gonçalo da Silveira Foundation (FGS – Fundação Gonçalo da Silveira), founded in 2004, is an NGO for development and the social outreach arm of the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus.[1]

Mission and purpose

The Gonçalo da Silveira Foundation (FGS) was formed in April 2004 to coordinate the social development and mission efforts of the Portuguese Jesuits. including fundraising, domestic projects, and preparation of projects to be implemented by the missionaries. FGS aims to improve the living conditions of the most disadvantaged communities, particularly in Lusophone countries. FGS works to contribute to integral human development and to sensitize society to the values of equality, social justice, and global citizenship, in harmony with the environment.[2]

FGS is a member of the Xavier Foundation Network with five similar European institutions of the Society of Jesus, ALBOAN (Spain), Entreculturas (Spain), Jesuitenmission (Germany), Leigos parfa o desenvolvimento (Portugal), and MAGIS (Italy).[3]

Projects

The following are examples of the work of the Gonçalo da Silveira Foundation.

Portugal

  • Move You for Change aims to raise awareness and mobilize young Christians as agents of change in local and global reality. FGS drew help from the Theological Faculty of the Portuguese Catholic University to assist the Lisbon Diocese Religious Education Secretariat in preparing religious education materials that include the themes of education for development and global citizenship in the Moral Education and Catholic Faith (EMRC) program for Catholic schools. This remained an ongoing project in 2016.[4]
  • Between 2007 and 2010 FGS served in a working group on the Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and the ACP countries (2007). Then FGS participated in an ad-hoc group set up to influence iPads and their priorities and impact on education (2009-2010), which in 2010 formulated a project for co-financing the iPad called "Reinventing borders: proximity to routes between educational actors ECG" (2011-2013).[5] In 2016 the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the CIDAC, Amílcar Development Cabral, and Gonçalo da Silveira Foundation, came out with the proposal Guidelines for Education for Citizenship which were in the making since 2012, a reference framework for Development Education for preschool through secondary education.[6]
  • Portugal Global Campaign for Education (GCE) from January 2010 to January 2012 sensitized the educational community to global disparities in access to education and the importance of this for reducing poverty and social exclusion. This included workshops, provision of informational materials, mobilization to mark anniversaries related to human rights, and promotion of Global Action Week for Education (SAGE) at the national level.
  • Synergies ED project of FGS fills a perceived need for research related to action in the area of Education for Development (ED) in Portugal. The project connects those in higher education institutions and civil society organizations in a collaborative learning process. In Portugal, aware of its importance, several institutions initiated the drafting of the National Education Development Strategy (ENED), which was promulgated in the Official Gazette in 2009.[7]

Mozambique

  • Seeds of Tomorrow project of FGS has opened six houses in Tete Province in Angónia District to host 64 orphans of HIV/AIDS. The houses are close to schools and health centers and are located in Bintoni, Makodza, Kodza, Kayia, Chingamba, Mangombo, and Nkhawo.[8]
  • Building a cultural and academic centre in Tete, Mozambique, on land owned by the Mozambican Jesuits and at the cost of €222,164.03. Since 2011 the Secondary School Ignatius of Loyola (ESIL) has been built in stages, including classrooms, a library, laboratory, computer room, canteen, and toilets.[9]
  • North of the city of Beira, in the impoverished Nhangau district, support was given for the construction of Nhambira and Nhangulo schools, along with materials, teacher training, and adult literacy programs. SGF has also funded the construction of wells and provided bicycles so that fishermen and farmers can sell their surplus in the markets.[10]

Malawi

East Timor

  • FGS has been instrumental in planning and obtaining funds for the construction in Kasait, East Timor of a teacher training academy and a model school on the grounds of the academy. College of John Britto opened in 2014 with about 40 teachers in training. In 2013 Loyola school opened with about 70 seventh grade students.[12]

References

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