Pope Francis held a Google Hangout to launch an international project of cooperation through technology with five disabled children from various parts of the world to promote a more inclusive form of education.
Children from Brazil, India, Spain and the United States shared their dreams and hobbies with the Pope. The Google Hangout was held in partnership with the independent organization Scholas Occurentes or School’s Meeting. The organization is a worldwide network of schools which is organized by two Argentinian school headmasters, Enrique Palmeyro and Jose Maria del Corral.
The two headmasters was asked by the pontiff to offer students a “bailout” through learning.
“He’s convinced that the world is in crisis, and that the solution will come through education.”
The main goal of the network is to connect the students, teachers, and the parents for projects and programs by using popular sports and culture to promote dialogue to improve the quality of their education and, at the same time, to reinforce peace and understanding.
During the 30-minute conversation, the children told Pope Francis how technology was helping them learn in school and pursue their interests.
They also asked questions and sought advice from the Argentine pontiff.
Isaiah, who is a junior high school student from Nebraska, told the Pope about how he was using technology to help him keep up with his schoolwork. Isaiah is suffering from a lack of fine motor skills that affect his ability to write. He asked the Pope Francis that what to do if someone has to face something difficult. The Pope replied:
“Do not get upset. Remain calm, and afterwards find a way to overcome it. If I can’t overcome it then I have to resist it. Until the possibility comes up that I can overcome it, there’s no need to be afraid of difficulties. We are capable of overcoming everything. All we need is time to understand them, intelligence to find a way and courage to continue forward. But never be afraid.”
Pope Francis shared jokes, gave them advice and offered encouragement.
“Each one of us has a treasure inside and when we share our own treasure with others, it multiples along with the treasures that come from the others we meet. What I want to say is don’t hide the treasure that each one of you has. Sometimes we find it right away. Sometimes you have to do a little game of treasure hunt. But once you find it, because when you share it you receive from others and it multiples.”
This is the second time the Pope has taken part in a Hangout to promote education.
The first was last September, when Francis spoke with high school students from five continents to launch “Scholas.Social”, website dedicated to crowd funding educational projects that promotes interaction among schools with different social challenges.