The International Barcelona Inclusive Congress 2017, organized by the Catalan Association of Psychopedagogy and Counseling (ACPO) and the Catalan Association of School and Professional Orientation (ACO), will be held from November 17 to 19 in Barcelona. Educaweb, as the person in charge of the technical secretariat of the congress, begins a series of interviews with some of the speakers from now on, in order to stimulate the debate on inclusion from different points of view. On this occasion, Educaweb interviewed Manel Pousa, priest and creator of the Father Manel Foundation who works with people in a situation of vulnerability. Pousa will participate in the round table on Poverty and exclusion.
What does it mean to be poor today?
I understand that being poor today is, as always, not having means to live and eat, but also for me it would not be able to solve personal conflicts.
The philosopher Adela Cortina says that there is a phenomenon, Aporofobia or phobia to the poor, which is very rooted in our society. Do you agree?
Yes, because the poverty situation will always create a tension between those who live well and those who live badly.
Why do we exclude the poor?
Because they logically bother, they are heavy and they have to seduce us.
Why should we keep them in mind?
Because I believe that it is a matter of justice and that perhaps with a little less we would also live well. There is too much distance between the wealthy population and the poor.
Where are the main difficulties facing poverty, not poor people?
I consider that one of the reasons is the accumulation on the part of the many rich and generally of the well-off people, and the inhibition and unconsciousness of not wanting to see the reality.
What is done from the Manel Father Foundation?
Ours a neighborhood history and, in particular, attention to children and youth in the various projects to complement the education that can be found in schools and families, which is our first budget; and, as far as possible, relieve and complete the life of inmates in some Penitentiary Centers and their families.
What can be done from a political point of view to live in a society that integrates poor people?
Let them be honest and be aware of the reality and the causes that originate poverty in general, and that probably almost always, at least for the time being, we will have poor people, because I believe that this issue of poverty must be considered for everything the world, not just my country. History is a clear enough testimony to show how rich countries have exploited and continue to exploit poor countries.
And what can the teachers, tutors and academic and professional counselors do?
I would say that we have a privileged situation to educate children and young people and encourage them to do what is possible.
And a citizen?
Be very attentive to local movements that you consider just and in the personal sphere to do whatever you can.