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 ::   Ideario  ::  

International Mission Statement of Fe y Alegria

Fundamental statement of the identity and mission of the movement

Version of Ideario in Portugués

Version of Ideario in Spanish

Version of Ideario in Guaraní




Fe y Alegria is a Popular Education movement which was born of and impelled by a living out of the Christian faith in situations of injustice; it is a movement committed to helping poor people in their historic task of building a society that is truly just and fraternal.

  1.2. Fe y Alegria makes an option for the poor, and in accord with that it seeks out the neediest people in order to realize its educational and social activities; from the perspective of the poor it seeks to awaken the larger society the insistent demand for a more human society.



This movement pursues the following objectives:


Promoting the formation of new men and women who are conscious of their own potentialities and of the reality which surrounds them; who are open to transcendence, are agents for change and are protagonists in their own development.

  2.2. Contributing to the creation of a new society whose structures make possible a commitment of Christian faith in works of love and justice.



To bring about these objectives, in the service of the neediest sectors, Fe y Alegria:


Requires the presence and action of individuals and groups that are committed to a spirit of service.

  3.2. Adopts a pedagogy which evangelizes and liberates.
  3.3. Promotes the integration of local grass-roots people in the formation of the educational community.
  3.4. Reflects on and researches the root causes of unjust situations.
  3.5. Assumes a methodology of planning and evaluation as a function of its objectives.
  3.6. Requires an organizational structure which impels, coordinates and guides all its activities.



The educational activity of Fe y Alegria is characterized by the following:


The evangelizing and pastoral character of all educational work of Fe y Alegria.

  4.2. The permanent effort to know and understand the local and national reality and to value and revitalize the cultures and experiences of the common people in urban, rural and indigenous regions.
  4.3. Creativity in the discovery of new pedagogies and educational methods, both formal and non-formal, which respond to the problems of persons and communities.
  4.4. Emphasis on formation in and for enabling and productive labor, as a means for personal development and community growth.
  4.5. Concern for the motivation and the continuing formation of all members of the Fe y Alegria movement.



The dynamic of the movement is characterized by the following:


Creativity in the continual search for new approaches which are faithful to the principles that inspire the movement and are expressed in this mission statement.

  5.2. A spirit of community participation in the creation and functioning of centers and projects, and the solidarity of the centers and projects with local life and problems.
  5.3. A manifestation of faith in genuine commitments for justice.
  5.4. The prophetic dimension of the movement in itself, in its educational activities and in the struggle against injustice and oppression.
  5.5. The defense of educational justice as a concrete manifestation of structural justice.
  5.6. Continual growth, both qualitative and quantitative, with a spirit of enterprising boldness.
  5.7. The multiplication and selection of human and material resources of all kinds, and the appropriately austere and efficient use of same for the cause of quality education.



The organization of Fe y Alegria is characterized by the following:


Functional autonomy of countries, regions and centers within a communion of principles and objectives and with intercommunication and solidarity as regards concerns and projects.

  6.2. The ecclesial nature of the movement as the People of God, so that due credit is given to committed laypeople and institutes of religious life with their own charisms, in co-responsibility with the Society of Jesus, founder and supporter of the movement, and in union with the local churches.
  6.3. An effort to make the organization and function of the centers, regions and countries a faithful reflection of the values which, in accord with the objectives of Fe y Alegria, contribute to the New Humanity and the New Society.
  6.4. The appropriate use of public relations and the mass media as a strategy to support the work of Fe y Alegria, all the while maintaining its identity and independence.
We understand by Movement the grouping together of persons in continual dynamism and growth -- the contrary of stagnation, conformity and conventionality.  Movement means people on the move, searching out new responses to human needs; it involves gathering, coordinating, orienting and supporting grass-roots dynamism at different levels; it finds its integration in the definition of common objectives.
By Popular Education we understand a historical and social process which, by means of genuine insertion in the reality of common people and a permanent effort to comprehend the precise nature of their needs, seeks to support persons and communities in their efforts to become conscious of their potentialities and their values, to acquire the ability to decide about their own life and future and to realize their role as protagonists of their own development.

As a historical process of accompaniment of the common people, both in the country and the city, Popular Education should arise from the heart of the people, from their life, from their values and experiences, from their cultural expressions and their struggles, so that by appropriating their own history and achieving their own organization, they may achieve their true realization as persons and as community.  Given that, they will develop their capacity to become active agents in that history and to modify the course of events in order to reach true liberty and a just balance between possible external aids and their own participation, thus avoiding paternalism.

As a social process, strongly influenced by geographical community and the overcrowded living conditions of poor people, Popular Education seeks to help them have a voice both within their own group and in relation to other social groups.  Thus, by means of expression and communication, the common people will become personalized according to their own characteristics, they will define better their social identity (avoiding vain social climbing), and they will assume with responsibility their political commitment as Christians.

This educational process, thus understood, accentuates the aspiration for exploration and for personal and community growth, it requires of teachers and students a change of attitude, and it supposes a change in the contents and methodologies of the teaching process.


By Integral Education, in its widest sense, we understand the following:

1. A process which encompasses ordinary people, men and women, in all their dimensions, possibilities and capacities; in the multiplicity of their relations with themselves, with others, with nature and with God; in the diversity of stages and moments of their evolutionary growth and in all the aspects and levels of their activity; even taking into account their most basic needs (food, health, housing, etc.) as necessary and fundamental elements of the same educational process.
2. A process which leads to a complete understanding of human beings and of society within their historical context, with their own cultural, social, economic, political and religious wisdom and values, but also with a healthy openness towards different cultures and worldviews.
3. A process which is open to a plurality of educational methods, both formal and non-formal; which uses all the available resources; which integrates the family and community context into the educational process; which appreciates both science and technical application, both study and communal and personal labor; and which always seeks to develop attitudes of criticism, creativity, commitment, community and faith in accord with an authentic education inspired in the Gospel.
4. A process which seeks to form people in and for life, and in and for productive labor, making them capable of transforming the society in which they live.

We understand Liberation Pedagogy according to the definition of the Medellin bishops’ conference, that is, as pedagogy that makes the students the subject of their own development.  To achieve that, education at all levels must become creative, for it has to anticipate the new society which we seek in Latin America.  It must base its efforts on the personalization of the new generations, deepening their consciousness of their own human dignity and promoting their free self-determination and their sense of community.

We understand Evangelizing Pedagogy according to the Puebla bishops’ conference, that is, as completing the notion of Liberation Pedagogy:

1. By transmitting the Good News of the Kingdom of Christ which brings liberation above all to the most needy.  In light of this ordinary people create their own history; they become conscious of being sons and daughters of God and thus part of a great community with all other peoples in the struggle to change society.
2. By manifesting the Gospel in every task and in every step of the educational process.
3. By enriching people’s sense of being alive and their personal experience of God.

An essential requirement for belong to the movement of Fe y Alegria is knowledge of, commitment to, respect for and practice of the movement’s guidelines in their option for the poor.  This commitment can be found in different degrees according to the different levels of disposition and the different types of affiliation with the institution.

The New Men and Women will be those who have consciousness of self and of the personal liberation process which leads to full development of their abilities; by living profoundly Christian values, especially those of fraternal love and justice, they develop attitudes of autonomy, critical independence and responsibility; they express solidarity with people who live in misery and are victims of injustice; they are seriously committed to being of service to other people; and they seek to become agents of change in order to achieve a society organized according to a new social, economic, political and religious order.

The New Society is that which is:

1. Just: all people, especially all women, have true dignity and are respected for their cultural, human and spiritual ideas and values; all live together with equality of rights and duties, eliminating all discrimination of persons for reasons of race, sex, religion or political belief; all have a real opportunity to satisfy their basic human needs; and the gap is reduced between the poor and the rich, between the world of capital and the world of labor.
2. Participative and fraternal: all members participate in the cultural, economic, social and religious goods of the society; all contribute according to their abilities and receive according to their needs; the solutions to problems are sought in a communal and compassionate way; and there is free and responsible participation in the decisions and in the functioning of society, the means of production and the fruit of labor, always integrating into the process the representative values of the common people.
Educational Justice is understood to be that which assures to everybody the fundamental right to have access to education; which respects the liberty of students and parents to choose the type of education which they decide is best; and which commits the government, as guarantor of the common good, to providing the means by which this right becomes a reality, in equality of conditions, both in public and in private education.
Documet discussed and approved by the members of the International Federation of Fe y Alegria in the International Congresses XV and XVI Merida (Venezuela) and San Salvador (El Salvador), 1984 y 1985.

Ideario, enero 2005