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Sala Stampa

Francis praises the initiative “Instant schools for Africa”, which makes educational resources available on line for African youth, 05.10.2016

This morning at 9 a.m., before the general audience, the Holy Father received in the room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall the representatives of the Vodafone Foundation. The chief executive officer presented to the Pope the initiative “Instant Schools for Africa”, which seeks to offer online access to important educational resources for a great number of African youth, some of whom are living in refugee camps.

Francis expressed his appreciation for the project, “part of the wider spectrum of public and private initiatives that promote a more inclusive and supportive world, providing opportunities for development to individuals and social groups at risk of being excluded”, and suggested that “in implementing such a project, care be taken to provide these young people with some orientation in methodology, so that they can learn not only how to use tools, but how to use them as tools, thus enabling them to bring out the best of these means in a free and critical way”.

One of the wishes manifested by the Pope was that among the resources offered to youth, there may be digital access to the sacred texts of various religions, in their respective languages. “This would be a beautiful sign of care for the religious dimension so deeply rooted among African peoples, and a sign also of encouraging interreligious dialogue”, he affirmed.

“Thank you again for your kind visit, and I wish you much success in this project, which from what I have heard, I like a lot. It is constructive, and today we need to be constructive, to do things that lead humanity ahead, and not merely look on as bombs fall on innocent people, children, the sick, entire cities. Build, do not destroy!” he concluded.