San Paolo (Brazil). On October 5-9, at St. Ines School in Sao Paolo, Brazil the annual meeting of Ecosam (Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Social Communications Team of America) took place.
The participants at the meeting were the Communications Coordinators of the five Interprovincial Conferences of America: Sr. Josephine Ochoa (EUA - NAC); Sr. Susana Li Tong (Costa Rica - CIMAC); Sr. Aída Lucía Bohórquez (Columbia - CINAB); Sr. Marcia Koffermann (Brazil - CIB); and Sr. Maria Baffundo (Uruguay - CICSAL). In addition, there were invited guests: Sr. Maria Helena Moreira (General Councillor for the Communications Department, FMA - Rome); Sr. Rosa Mollo (contact person CELAM- SIGNIS and expert in Edu-communication - Peru); and Sr. Maria de Lourdes Becker (Communications Coordinator of Sao Paolo Province– Brazil, as contact person of the Brazilian Provinces).
The general theme of the meeting was: “Broaden your vision to communicate joy and hope”. The group reflections were based on this. To begin the work, each Conference representative shared the journey that had been made in the various regions, using the SWOT methodology of analysis. At the end of this, there was a final synthesis, affording a panoramic view of FMA communications at the American level.
Sr. Rosa Mollo collaborated by leading the participants to reflect on some themes: Edu-communication through the GCXXIII guidelines: “Edu-communication strategy as the crossroads of encounter that forms and transforms the educational and pastoral experience”; When an experience is edu-communicative – Guidelines for evaluation”; “CELAM – the Common Project for the development of children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean”; the teaching of Edu-communication as edu-communicative practice of didactic activity”.
Sr. Maria Helena Moreira led the group to reflect on communications beginning with the planning of the Social Communications Department in the next six years, reinforcing the idea that Ecosam should be a group that is ever more committed to live and transmit the edu-communicative experience according to the Preventive System of Don Bosco.
The group also had the opportunity to listen to a reading of the Chapter document from the communicative point of view, presented by a lay person, Dr. Arama Colon from Costa Rica. In his analysis, he highlighted the important elements that refer to the identity of the FMA Institute, which has been communicative from its origins.
During the meeting, the group was able to visit some places and this provided the opportunity to be together and share more. They went to the city of Aparecida, where they visited the National Shrine of the Virgin of Aparecida, and then to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, the oldest FMA reality in Brazil. Lastly, they visited St. Teresa School, where there is the Course of Communications and Specialization in Educational Communications. This provided a great opportunity to exchange ideas and to think about creating new partnerships.
On October 8, the team visited Paulo Freire Institute and was able to study the figure of this great educator and the mission that the Institute continues to carry out. The Institute contains the writings and personal objects of the author.
The meeting was a time of great wealth, favouring the reinforcement of the sense of belonging, of working together, of openness, and of learning to continue to spread the charism with transparency and quality, broadening our vision to be communicators of joy and hope.