22 March Mar 2012 1046 22 March 2012

HEC Paris: AVSI at the Sustainable Business Conference 2012

On March 22, AVSI attended the Sustainable Business Conference 2012 titled Enabling the Positive City – Smart Cities, Smart Sustainability”, which gathered more than 600 participants ranging from universities, politicians, NGOs to students dealing with the theme of cities becoming the crucial pillar of future economy.
The conference aimed to present practical solutions to build sustainable cities today and, at the same time, provide innovative responses to define the cities of tomorrow.
One of the main issues was the risingurbanization trend shown in some developing countries and the impossibility of access to quality education systems for poor people. Therefore the main challenge is to ensure that everyone has the chance to receive an adequate education in order to improve their living conditions.
Alberto Piatti, AVSI Secretary-General, presented AVSI’s experience all around the worldin the field of education showing howsocial private work offers quality education services. First of all quality schools such as the Luigi Giussani High School in Uganda, the Little Prince in Kenya, Rosetta’snursery schools in Brazil and the Pelca Program - Prescolar en la Casa – in Ecuador.
Education means not only schooling, but also introduction to total reality, according to the J.A. Jungmann definition. AVSI’s educational projects aim not only to teach but also to accompany children within the reality of their families and the community. That is why the master plays a key role. The courses of the Permanent Center for Education in Uganda, attended by more than 20,000 people, are an impressive evidence of AVSI’s education method. In such reality, for example, an educator who becomes a master and takes care of the youngsters stops using corporal punishment.
AVSI’s experience highlights that the key to providing quality education services is a partnership between the public system and private social organizations who are in close touch with the communities and people at risk of social exclusion.