On Friday May 14th 2004, the first ”Raoul Wallenberg” Educational Center in Argentina was inaugurated. The ceremony took place in Gregorio de Laferrere, a district 30 kms. away from Buenos Aires.
The initiative is sponsored by the General Economic Confederation (CGE); the NGO ”Poder Ciudadano”, the Movement of Unemployed People of La Matanza (MTD) and the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF).
The Raoul Wallenberg Educational Center is added to the list of similar initiatives of the IRWF in Venezuela, Uruguay and Ecuador.
Raoul Wallenberg is the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of people from a certain death during the Holocaust. He disappeared after being kidnapped in 1945 by the Soviet Army. His deeds, based on values of solidarity and civic courage, are promoted in the world by the IRWF through educational projects.
The educational complex includes two kindergarten classes, and productive initiatives such as a bakery, a serigraphy workshop, a publishing house, a sewing workshop, and a school of professions are functioning ”We conceived this center as a firm step towards social reinsertion of unemployed workers and the exercise of the right to a worthy life for us and our children,” said Toti Flores, leader of the MTD, ”This Educational Center is now and forever called Raoul Wallenberg, for in the figure of this outstanding public official we have found the inspiration that leads us to respect human rights, starting with the right to work”.
The MTD has been working since the beginning of 2002 towards the opening of an educational project where the principle of ”permanent education” can be put into practice. The purpose is to exercise the right to a democratic education, including the participation of the community in the teaching – learning process, by promoting such values as self management, solidarity, cooperativism and the care for the environment.
The Educational Complex of the MTD has been working for almost two years in the premises once used by an old private school that was dismantled in different robberies.
Among the many people that attended the ceremony were Laszlo Ladanyi and Tomás Kertesz, both saved by Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest in 1944.
Ricardo Faerman, President of the CGE, Carlos March, Executive Director of Poder Ciudadano; José I. García Hamilton, Vice-President of the IRWF and Toti Flores, leader of the MTD, spoke in the ceremony.