On October 5, 2023, the Marist International Solidarity Foundation ETS (FMSI) completed the process of adapting to the Third Sector Reform, promoted in Italy, and was officially registered in the Single National Third Sector Register (RUNTS), and officially assuming the status of Third Sector Entity (ETS). This date represents a significant moment in the growth and evolution of our organization and entails several important changes and opportunities. 

For more than 16 years, thanks to the fundamental support of the Marist Brothers’ Institute, which supports its work every year, FMSI has been working to develop the potential of children and young people, especially those in the most vulnerable conditions, through education, advocacy and solidarity projects. FMSI promotes solidarity, education, and development in the peripheries of the world, following the Marist Charism and the words of the Founder of the Congregation, St Marcellin Champagnat. 

FMSI has contributed to the elimination of inequalities in access to education, breaking down all socio-economic, gender and origin barriers that could be an impediment to the education of children, girls and young people supported by the Marist Missions around the world. The transition from a non-profit organization (ONLUS) to Third Sector Entity (ETS) brings with it a number of responsibilities that will further strengthen the Foundation’s mission. As a Third Sector Organization, the Marist Foundation will ensure greater transparency in financial operations and resource management. This new status will allow the Foundation to diversify its activities and develop new partnerships to better address global challenges, including poverty, education, health, and the promotion of Human Rights. Furthermore, as the Marist International Solidarity Foundation ETS, it will be able to adapt to the changing needs of Marist communities globally and respond effectively to humanitarian emergencies. This transition is a fundamental step that reflects FMSI’s commitment to pursue its Vision of a world where childhood is respected and guaranteed, free from violence and fear. A world where children, girls and young people are recognized as active members of their communities and society.

Today, the Marist International Solidarity Foundation ETS continues to operate in more than 67 countries, implementing more than five hundred development and emergency projects in favor of children, girls, youth and communities in vulnerable conditions and sending to the United Nations more than 67 UPR (Universal Periodic Review) in order to shed light on the condition of human rights and the rights of children in the countries where the Marist Congregation works through its Missions. FMSI has also carried out activities with a political impact, such as the ‘Humanity’ and ‘Peace Goes Beyond’ campaigns promoted by the FOCSIV Network, of which FMSI is a member, and fundraising campaigns to support populations in a state of emergency. Among the most important ones, FMSI launched a fundraising campaign on February 7, 2023, to support the Mission and the population of Aleppo following the earthquake that devastated Syria. Thanks to this campaign, FMSI raised 469,941 from 538 donors and obtained essential medical supplies, including hospital equipment such as lung ventilators and continuous pressure equipment. The fundraising aimed to respond quickly to the initial phase of the earthquake and the ensuing state of humanitarian emergency through targeted interventions, such as the distribution of food parcels, psycho-social support to people in vulnerable conditions and the distribution of clothes, nappies and blankets.

On November 20, 2023, on the occasion of the International Day of the Rights of the Child, FMSI, together with the Solidarity Secretariat of the Institute of the Marist Brothers, will organise the event “Right to be Children”. The main objective of the event is to raise awareness of the challenges and issues facing children and to promote their rights and safety. The event aims to share knowledge and experiences, as well as to reflect on recommendations and next steps to be taken in the Marist Family to ensure that every child enjoys his or her fundamental rights. The Marist Foundation for International Solidarity ETS is enthusiastic about continuing to work with supporters, partners and volunteers to create a more just, fair and inclusive world for all.

“We have an enormous responsibility towards the missions, the social works, the Marist schools in the world, the children. And last but not least, of the General Council, which every year confirms its trust and supports us” says Andrea Rossi, Director of FMSI “we feel this trust in us and we want it to be the stimulus to commit ourselves to do even more, build bridges and look further ahead”.

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