OREANDA-NEWS. October 14, 2015. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Scholas, an educational non-profit organization led by Pope Francis, signed today an interinstitutional cooperation agreement which aims to implement comprehensive educational programs that will assist vulnerable youth in Latin America and Caribbean.

"This agreement reflects the IDB's commitment to generate new opportunities for the most disadvantaged populations, and this requires closing the gap in access to quality education that still persists in our region," said Luis Alberto Moreno, IDB President.

"The partnership between the IDB and Scholas provides a new perspective to the programs that our organization is promoting in different countries of Latin America," explained Jos? Mar?a Del Corral, global head of Scholas. "Our goal is to redefine what we mean by education, and we therefore propose new ways to leverage sport, art and technology to achieve a leap in quality and the spiritual impact of education among the most vulnerable young people."

The Scholas initiative arose when Pope Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires and aims to revolutionize the education of children based on the following three pillars. The first is to promote the teaching of human values to encourage social integration and to connect public and private schools of all religions. Another pillar of Scholas is to incorporate sport and arts that can generate a healthy lifestyle and self-esteem, by strengthening values such as perseverance and teamwork, and cultivating creativity and self-expression among young people. Finally, the initiative aims to harness the potential of technology to improve the quality of education and promote a global culture of gathering.

On July 2015, the IDB and Scholas began a cooperation agreement with the government of Paraguay which support activities in 30 Paraguayan schools. The results will be evaluated to assess the impacts of the program. In the midterm this program aims to expand to disadvantaged areas in Colombia and Haiti with the support of the IDB.

The agreement launched in Paraguay includes three stages. The first includes a pilot Scholas Citizenship in the town of Ba?ado del Norte which will reach seven schools and the implementation of Scholas Labs program consisting of an accelerator of educational projects. The second stage includes the approval by the IDB of a technical cooperation grant for \\$1 million funded by the IDB and the Korean Fund for Poverty Reduction which will benefit Scholas and the Ministry of Education in Paraguay. On the third and final stage, 1,200 schools of Paraguay will be reinforced by extending the school day and offering educational alternatives to ensure quality education with inclusion and equity.

About the IDB 

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. 

About Scholas 

Scholas is an organization that holds a Pontifical Right by Pope Francis launched on August 13, 2013. It works in 71 countries through its network and its first two headquarter locations were in Argentina and the Vatican City. Scholas links technology with art and engages sport to promote social integration and culture gatherings in search for peace. Its mission is to achieve the integration of communities, focusing on groups of people with fewer resources, through the commitment of their stakeholders, and integrating schools and educational networks worldwide through technological, sports and artistic proposals. The program develops integrative and inclusive strategies in four aspects. It works with every type of schools, both public and private and of all faiths.  The Queen of Spain, Letizia granted the "Moviliza" award for awakening the commitment and social responsibility of all educational actors.