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Wednesday, 18 January 2023 10:10

VIVAT Spain Workshop

In line with our program, the Vivat Spain group organized a training day on October 22 to raise awareness and knowledge of the mission of Vivat International and Vivat Spain.In line with our program, the Vivat Spain group organized a training day on October 22 to raise awareness and knowledge of the mission of Vivat International and Vivat Spain.It was a day spent with Andrzej Owca, CSSp, who is currently working at the Geneva headquarters, and listening to the videoconference talk by Carlos Ferrada SVD who spoke to us from Austria.The first topic, what Vivat International is and its mission, was developed by Carlos in a video conference, and the participants were also able to ask questions on critical issues such as the credibility of the United Nations and the sense of participating in these spheres that also have their bureaucratic and functional limitations.  Nevertheless, Carlos motivated and encouraged us to learn about and use this space where we need to be and from where we can slowly achieve long-term goals that can change and improve the lives of the most vulnerable.Next, the Vivat Spain group presented how Vivat Spain was established in 2015 and, since then, has sought to promote collaboration between our institutions and involvement in the field of immigration.Our Vivat group has been a venue for sharing and encouraging each other in working with immigrants and refugees in concrete activities of welcoming and denouncing abuses.  It has also allowed us to go beyond with participation in the 2020 Universal Periodic Review (UPR), presenting a critical account of the inhumane and violent treatment of people in CIEs (Centros de Internamiento para Extranjeros or detention centers for foreigners awaiting deportation in Spain).  The group also affirmed its willingness to continue to denounce the violation of human rights and to present it in the spaces offered, especially in Geneva, through an “oral statement” and reporting for the 2025 UPR.The second topic was covered by Andrzej, who shared in his introduction some information showing the historical context and development of what we commonly define as human rights. The definition of these rights has been improved and expanded, not to go beyond the 1948 Declaration as a starting point, and since then there have been several declarations at the regional level in various parts of the world that have also offered other perspectives.From civil rights we have expanded to economic, social and cultural rights; also to rights from different cultural and religious perspectives, from Africa, the East, etc., and to the rights of various special categories such as children and adolescents, or international treaties against torture and deprivation of liberty, against disappearances.He also looked how we can understand our action starting from the concepts of CHARITY and JUSTICE.There is no doubt that we are called to charity, which leads us to care for the fallen, to redress the effects of injustice and bad policies.  But if we stop to reflect, we must also look at the causes, and this is where the justice aspect comes in.  This allows us to have broad goals so that injustice is not repeated and people have a better quality of life.Working for justice requires other avenues, sometimes long ones and with tools that are not enticing: knowing the laws, collecting documentation, talking to politicians and administrators at different levels.  Justice also needs a critical part of prophetic denunciation in collaboration with people and organizations, perhaps having other motivations, but working for building a better world.At the end of the day we celebrated the Eucharist asking the God of Life, God the Father and Mother, to continue to encourage us to live charity, assisting the needy without neglecting justice and the task of denouncing structures of sin and helping to change them so that all “have life and life in abundance.”
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