Last month, Alejandro Simón, CEO of ICMIF member Grupo Sancor Seguros (Argentina), visited Pope Francis at the Vatican City in Rome (Italy) and shared news of the actions carried out by the Fundación Grupo Sancor Seguros (Sancor Seguros Group’s Foundation). Simón focused on what has been done in terms of consolidation and promotion of School Cooperativism, both in the area of the city of Sunchales, where Sancor Seguros is based, nationally and transnationally.
They also discussed issues related to the integration of people with disabilities in the workplace; infant mortality in poor areas; and possible approaches to these problems.
Simón also presented the Pope with some symbolic gifts, such as drawings by secondary school students from the Instituto Cooperativo de Enseñanza Superior (ICES, a cooperative-based high school) related to care for the environment; cloth bags made as part of an ecological campaign promoted by the Federación de Cooperativas Escolares de Sunchales, which is made up of primary, secondary, rural and special education students from the city of Sunchales; and photographs of residents of the Nursing Home “La Casa del Abuelo Otoño Feliz”, which were blessed by the Pope.
Finally, the CEO of the Sancor Seguros Group presented the Pope with a special edition of the Martín Fierro, a 2,316-line epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández, which includes illustrations by the Santa Fe artist Juan Arancio.
Pope Francis addressed those who make up the Sunchales School Co-operatives and sent them his congratulations for the work they do every year: “It is a different, creative contribution to society. In this work, you also develop your personality. Because it is always the work that gives consistency and dignity. Keep going, it is worth following this path. Pray for me and I pray for you.”
Whilst at the Vatican City, Simón also took part in the 6th “Ethics in Health Management” Seminar, which was held from 21 to 25 November, with the participation of speakers from different parts of Latin America. Within this framework, Simón gave a presentation on “Interreligious dialogue, a powerful tool to strengthen a humanist vision”.
During his presentation, he spoke about the Interreligious Dialogue Space (EDI), which was inaugurated in Sunchales under the general coordination of the Fundación Grupo Sancor Seguros. This place, with few precedents in the world, seeks to contribute, from a point of spirituality, to dialogue and to the experience of values based on the cooperative principles of respect and listening, as a guarantee of peaceful coexistence among all human beings.
“We have the duty to think about what future we want to leave to new generations: whether it is one governed by intolerance and lack of understanding or one where we can build, through dialogue, over any differences, with the full certainty that what unites us is much stronger than what divides us. That is the responsibility of all of us, and that is the future we must work for every day,” Simón concluded.