Scholas Occurrentes receives the Human Rights Award

The educational movement, created by Pope Francis, receives the University of Seville Award for the Protection of Human Rights: “Juan Antonio Carrillo Salcedo”.

Vatican, December 18, 2023 – Scholas Occurrentes, the organization created by Pope Francis, has received the “Juan Antonio Carrillo Salcedo” Award from the University of Seville for the Protection of Human Rights. The award, which is awarded every two years, recognizes people or institutions that have stood out for their defense of human rights, whether in the political, social or educational sphere. Previously, only Queen Sofía of Spain, Federico Mayor Zaragoza and Marcelino Oreja and Adela Cortina were awarded.

The jury of the University of Seville, one of the oldest academic institutions in Spain, chose this year Scholas Occurrentes, who coincidentally celebrates his tenth anniversary of life, to award this renowned award.

The commendable work of Scholas Occurrentes in defending the human rights of young people around the world and its concrete and innovative practices, so that every child and young person has a meaningful life, did not go unnoticed. 

José María del Corral, world president of Scholas Occurrentes, commented on the recognition: «Scholas defends that having A meaningful life is a human right that cannot be violated, and to achieve that we work on various problems. We face challenges such as suicide prevention in multiple parts of the world, address the mental health of youth and adolescents in more than 30 countries during the pandemic, and combat problems such as gang activity in Panama, the Camorra in Naples, and child abuse in Portugal, Mexico and Spain.” 

“Many of us talk about Human Rights, but when it comes to seeing the work, few do it in the mud,” del Corral reflected.

Scholas Occurrentes arrived in Spain in 2015, and since then it has actively collaborated with the local Church and other faiths, with the Ministries of Education, Youth and Social Affairs, carrying out various activities in various regions of the country, such as the Community of Madrid, Catalonia, Galicia, Valencian Community, Andalusia and Cantabria. In turn, Scholas university campuses have been opened in Madrid, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona, among others.

Since its creation, Scholas has carried out educational experiences bringing together young people from Israel and Palestine, Cuba and the United States, from various cultures and religions, creating chairs in public and private universities; building sports schools in Mozambique, Iraq and in Latin America. Scholas youth work from Haiti every day to regain dignity through education. Also, from Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington, Scholas teachers seek for each young person to find meaning and for dialogue to overcome hatred and confrontation. Every day, the young teachers of Scholas encounter the real problems of children and adolescents: the lack of mental health, the abysmal increase in suicide, insecurity, addictions and corruption, abuse, child exploitation, bullying and cyberbullying and so many other pains that need listening, creativity and community. 

Scholas is convinced that the educational system is changed, from the bottom up and with the commitment of everyone. Defend the human rights of young people with concrete actions regardless of whether they have this or that belief or whether they are from this or that social or economic level; because he believes that what is important is the meeting and diversity is what brings us together.

This award, for its founders, belongs to the young people who commit their time and passion every day to reach more young people around the world and to Pope Francis for having trusted in this sacred intuition.