In September 2016, the founder of the Shalom Community, Moysés Azevedo, had a private audience with Pope Francis during which he presented a project called the “Educational Center of Peace”, whose aim is to help young people in socially vulnerable situations.
“Considering the great challenges posed by the high-risk and often violent areas mentioned by Pope Francis in his speech on the Sunday of Mercy, the Shalom Community, which has various ongoing Human Promotion activities, began to ask what more can we give to these young people to generate the fruits of mercy in the Church”, said Moysés.
The inspiration of the Educational Center of Peace arose as a way of applying the strength of the Shalom Charism with its various and creative activities directed towards the service of helping young people who live in high-risk areas such as Fortaleza and other cities around the world.
“We will have houses in these areas where such young people will be welcomed and receive the grace of mercy. They will stay in our homes for a certain period of time, receiving spiritual, human and artistic formation, technical training courses as well having the opportunity to participate in sports activities. In these ways, the young people living in high-risk areas and the young members of the Shalom Community will be able to grow together in this relationship of mercy”, explains the founder. The project will first be implemented in Fortaleza.
At the end of January, the Shalom’s Human Promotion Department held a Solidarity Bazaar to aid in the construction of the Educational Center of Peace, the land for which building the first house had already been purchased.
It is a complex project which requires a great amount of conviction as well as many partnerships and contributions to move it successfully forward.
Translation: William Rocha