In the Jesuit world, it is hard to find someone who has never heard of Fe y Alegría. This is one of our networks that has achieved significant impact and in the official documents of the Society of Jesus, is always cited, along with Jesuit Refugee Service, as a successful example of international Jesuit networking.

This unique network is not only an International Federation, but a movement of popular education and social promotion founded nearly 60 years ago in Venezuela that now provides educational services reaching almost 1.5 million students living at the frontiers of our mission. Fe y Alegria combines the autonomous work of its 20 national offices with a strong identity as an international movement, embodied in 10 transversal federative projects that help the network achieve multinational participation and scope.

Promotional Video from Fe y Alegria Argentina

Once a year, this global network joins together in a meeting to explore a federative theme of interest and taking advantage of this opportunity, the assembly and board of directors meet as well. This past week we met in Managua, Nicaragua, and therefore today, we are sharing this post.

It is difficult to summarize the state of such a large and complex movement, but for now, it may suffice to say that after 60 years we are still moving full steam ahead. Wherever there is a need for quality education for the most vulnerable and wherever the Society’s background can offer the greatest impact and feasibility... these are the conditions where our mission flourishes. Fe y Alegría has been in Africa since 2007, working in Chad, and this year the movement is taking its first steps in Madagascar. We have already dialogued with Congo and Kenya, and it would not surprise me if this list is expanded in the coming months. Since February, we are also starting an antenna in the United States. We are building more and more partnerships with other Jesuit educational networks such as FLACSI, Cristo Rey Schools, or strengthening our relationship with JRS…

It is very interesting to see how this network fully focused on local work and service to the most vulnerable, it is one of our best examples of a true international network.  Jorge Cela has studied this model of networking. You can read more about us at http://feyalegria.org/en or about the latest congress at http://innovacion.feyalegria.org/. Fe y Alegría in Spain is known as Entreculturas, and is the organization that along with others is coordinating the Jesuit Networking initiative.