FMSI was established with a specific purpose: To make the world a better place for children and young people.


La nostra visione:

We believe and act to realize a better world for children; a world where children are welcomed citizens, a world where children are recognized as active members in their communities and society.

La nostra missione:

We promote children’s rights and dignity, empowering them and their communities through practicing justice, no violence, solidarity and education.

I nostri valori:

Solidarity, fraternity, social justice, fair treatment of boys and girls, respect for diversity and human dignity are our values.

Our history

Established in October 2007, the Foundation, inspired by the charism of Saint Marcellin Champagnat and promoted by the Congregation of the Marist Brothers of the Schools, operates in the world for the rights of children and adolescents with the objective of guaranteeing them better conditions of life, health and safety.

The guiding principle in the operation of FMSI is education as an effective tool to promote the rights of young people and enable them to become agents in the social transformation of their communities.

The Marist International Solidarity Foundation believes a world where childhood is respected and guaranteed, free of violence and fear is possible.

2005The first Marist Brother is appointed to work for the Rights of the Child
2006 – Collaboration agreement with Franciscans International
2007 – Birth of FMSI
2008 – FMSI joins the Bureau International Catholique de l’Enfance (BICE)
2009 – Establishment of BICE think tank in Chile
2010 – Incorporation into networks – Child Rights Connect and Centre Catholique International de Genève (CCIG)
2011 – Obtaining of ECOSOC advisory status
2012 – Creation of Observatory “Niñez y Adolescencia” in Chile
2013 – Birth of FMSI Cono Sur
2014 – FMSI joins the Movimiento Mundial por la Infancia –Latinoamérica y Caribe (MMI-LAC) FMSI joins the CCIG Board of Directors
2015 – Establishment of BICE think tank in Brazil
2016 – Collaboration agreement with the Instituto Interamericano del Niño (Organization of American States)
2017 – Collaboration agreement with the Gregorian University of Rome. FMSI joins the BICE Board of Directors

History of FMSI Cono Sur

2009 – Establishment of BICE think tank in Chile
2012 – Establishment of Child and adolescent observatory in Chile, Peru UPR Report
2013 – Degree in Rights of the Child – University Marcelin Champagnat in Lima. Formation in Rights of the Child, Gesta Foundation Chile. Creation of FMSI Office Cono Sur
2014 – Bolivia and Chile UPR Report. Incorporation to MMI-LAC network
2015 – Establishment of BICE think tank in Brazil. Chile alternative report to the Committee for Rights of the Child
2016 – Paraguay UPR Report
2017 – Argentina UPR Report. Establishment of BICE think tank in Argentina

In 2013, the office of FMSI Cono Sur was established. Its main objectives are:

  • Coordinating strategies to strengthen the FMSI presence in the region, taking advantage of its access to financing and its presence at the UN.
  • Coordinating the political and social impact activity based on the information gathered on children.

The office of FMSI Cono Sur works in collaboration with the Inter-American Network of Marist Solidarity which brings together initiatives carried out in 21 countries, from Canada to Argentina.

Our organization

Board of Directors
Jimena Djauara Grignani (Brazil), 

Allen Sherry, FMS (Australia)

Libardo Garzón, FMS (Colombia)

Gianfranco Cattai (Italy)

Inmaculada Maillo (Spain)

Bro. Ken McDonald

Director General
Marzia Ventimiglia

Natalia Surraco

FMSI Cono Sur
Analía Ruggeri

Fundraising and Projects Unit
Federica De Benedittis

Angela Petenzi
Project Officer

Francesco Mastrorosa
Project Support Service

Andrea Rossi
Project Officer

Child Rights Unit
Álvaro Sepúlveda, FMS

Richard Carey, FMS
Child Rights Officer

Bylaws and Annual Reports


Annual Reports

Work with us

Openings with FMSI

To submit an application, write to fmsi@fmsi-onlus.org for more information.

If you are interested in a volunteer experience with us, send a short presentation letter specifying your areas of interest, your availability and any other useful information (whether a part time volunteer, available or interested in travelling, etc.) to:

Please enclose your curriculum vitae.

Become a volunteer

Stage e Internship

If you are interested in an internship experience with FMSI, write to us and together we will determine the best way to proceed.


Director General

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” wrote de Saint-Exupéry, as he began the first chapter of his masterpiece. Every adult should be educated by the children’s perspective, the North Star in every action. “Let yourself be guided by the child you once were” said Saramago, because only then will you find the right way. The children are the custodians of an idea of a better society; one that is inclusive, in solidarity and non-violent. That is why we chose a little girl (our imaginary Pachita, the symbol of childhood in the world) to speak of the “first” ten years of operation of FMSI on the occasion of this important anniversary in the Marist universe.

Born in October 2007, the Foundation has been working in the world for the rights of children and adolescents with the objective of guaranteeing them better conditions of life, health and safety and allowing them to grow and develop in the best possible way. We strive to prove that a better world, where childhood is respected, guaranteed and free of violence and fear is really possible.

Today, on the occasion of our anniversary, we are focusing the direction of our next five years based on a new strategy involving the perspective of children. A new beginning that will rely on professional skills to strengthen the internal operation of the Foundation, guarantee high-quality management, increase the flow of funds and communicate more effectively in presenting FMSI’s challenges, objectives and finances.

These are important figures: during these ten years, the Marist solidarity action has reached 59 countries around the world, with 256 projects and over 6 million euros. The actions were dedicated to the inclusion, education, social justice, cooperation for development and were all directed at the recognition of children and adolescents as active and capable of deeply changing society and local communities. Out of each euro that is donated to the Foundation, 91 cents go directly to actions that protect and support children and their rights with 9 cents going to the operation of the “machine”. Many actions were launched over the last few months: the Haiti project to protect children in a situation of slavery and victims of abuse, the construction of a more solid network among Marist organizations in the world, the New Horizon project aimed at launching a thorough leadership renewal in Marist schools around the world with laity and brothers working together to create a safe and welcoming world for future generations. A huge amount of work that deserves to be valued.

However, experience in the field also tells us that, in some environments, school cannot serve as the “only custodian” of education when children cannot always attend school, be it for external factors or by choice of their parents. That is where our method must be re-evaluated and formal and informal education must go hand in hand with outreach to homes, the streets and wherever else it is necessary. We must be ready to climb mountains, to set different paths of unconventional education and formation methods, or to do anything needed to achieve our goals. It is a long and tiring road we are called to walk together and giving our best as a Marist community of lay people and brothers.

This is the starting point of the new beginning for the Marist Foundation: our children, active subjects in society, are at the center of our action and the future of the world.

Marzia Ventimiglia

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The Institute of the Marist Brothers (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis), founded in France in 1817 by St. Marcellin Champagnat, is the second largest congregation of Brothers in the Catholic Church.  

An encounter with a dying young man, Jean-Baptiste Montagne, who knew nothing of his faith and was barely able to read, proved to be the defining moment for Marcellin Champagnat.  Soon after the boy’s death, St. Marcellin put into motion his vision.  “We need brothers,” he said, who will give their lives in the service of children and young people, especially those most in need and neglected by society.  

Champagnat, a man of great faith and trust in God’s providence, dedicated his early followers to Mary, sending them among young people, especially those least favored, to “make Jesus known and loved.”  The initial focus of his work was to provide education for children in rural, areas since this was a pressing need at the time, and provided an opportunity for their faith development.  

Today the community numbers about 3,000 members.  They are joined by a network of nearly 40,000 lay people and reach over 700,000 children and young people in 80 countries.  You will find this Marist network working in schools and universities, pastoral and social centers, youth movements and youth programs and wherever they find young people most in need.

El Instituto de los Hermanos Maristas (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis), fundado en Francia en 1817 por San Marcelino Champagnat, es la segunda congregación de hermanos más numerosa de la Iglesia Católica.

Un encuentro con un joven moribundo, Jean-Baptiste Montagne, que no sabía nada acerca de su fe y que era apenas capaz de leer, se reveló como el momento decisivo para Marcelino Champagnat. Inmediatamente después de la muerte del niño, San Marcelino puso en práctica su visión. “Necesitamos hermanos”, dijo, que den sus vidas al servicio de los niños y jóvenes, especialmente los más necesitados y olvidados por la sociedad.

Champagnat, un hombre de gran fe y confianza en la providencia de Dios, consagró sus primeros seguidores a María, enviándoles entre los jóvenes, especialmente los más desfavorecidos para “dar a conocer a Jesús y hacerlo amar”. El primer objetivo de su trabajo fue ofrecer una educación a los niños de las zonas rurales, porque era una necesidad urgente en aquel tiempo, ofreciéndoles así una oportunidad para crecer en la fe.

En la actualidad los miembros de la congregación son unos 3.000. Junto a ellos trabaja una red de unos 40.000 laicos que atienden a más de 700.000 niños y jóvenes en 80 países. Esta red marista trabaja en colegios y universidades, centros sociales y  pastorales, movimientos juveniles y programas de formación para la juventud y en cualquier lugar en el que encuentren jóvenes necesitados.

Congregazione dei Fratelli Maristi (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis) fu fondata in Francia nel 1817 da S. Marcellino Champagnat ed è oggi la seconda congregazione maschile (di fratelli) della Chiesa per numero di professi.
L’incontro con Jean-Baptiste Montagne, un giovane di 17 anni in punto di morte, analfabeta e senza formazione religiosa, fu un momento cruciale per Marcellino Champagnat. Poco dopo la morte del giovane, egli volle dare seguito ad un’idea che gli era balenata in seminario. “Abbiamo bisogno di fratelli”, disse, “che diano la loro vita per il servizio ai bambini e ai giovani, specialmente quelli più bisognosi e dimenticati dalla società”.
Champagnat, un uomo di grande fede e fiducia nella Provvidenza divina, consacrò i suoi primi seguaci a Maria e li mandò tra i giovani, specialmente i più emarginati, per “far conoscere ed amare Gesú”. Fin dall’inizio la sua missione fu incentrata su bambini n età scolare delle zone rurali, poiché l’istruzione era una necessità urgente al tempo e poiché rappresentava una formidabile opportunità di evangelizzazione.
Oggi la Congregazione annovera circa 3.000 religiosi affiancati da quasi 40.000 laici; insieme essi assistono più di 700.000 bambini e giovani in 80 paesi del mondo.
I Maristi, religiosi e laici, prestano la loro opera in scuole e università, centri pastorali e sociali, movimenti e programmi giovanili e ovunque ci siano bambini e giovani bisognosi da assistere