The Marist Foundation for International Solidarity Onlus is committed to respecting the dignity and rights of children, girls, and young people in all situations, following principles of protection, development, participation, non-discrimination, and the best interests of the child. Storytelling is a fundamental part of our daily work.
Narratives that reinforce stereotypes about developing economies often originate from the power dynamics between the storytellers and the actors or protagonists. In the field of development and international cooperation and solidarity, many perpetuate stereotypical narratives that are not only unethical but also harmful. If a narrative is unethical, not only does it lose its meaning, but it also risks denying the value of people, eliminating analysis and confrontation on solutions to global problems, and eliminating the possibility of learning from each other and authentically transforming reality for those in need.
Through this manual, written in collaboration with the Rete Marista Interamericana Corazón Solidario, FMSI intends to take proactive steps in ethically reporting its solidarity projects and initiatives around the world, ensuring that the narratives are truthful and not distorted.
This manual represents an update of the communication manual found in the FMSI Procedures Handbook (last version approved in 2021) and forms an integral part of FMSI’s new communication plan for 2023-2025.
You can download the Ethical Storytelling Handbook here. We are pleased to share it with anyone who aims to create a bias-free environment that fosters empowerment and respects cultural diversity, without adopting a paternalistic perspective that portrays the local community as the sole protagonist.