Launching the Transforming Education Donor Fund at the Vatican with Pope Francis

PVBLIC Foundation's Executive Chairman hosted a meeting in May with global leaders at the Vatican to officially launch the Transforming Education Donor Fund. The next meeting with the Pope will take place on November 25th.


NEW YORK, USA, November 2, 2021. In late May, PVBLIC Foundation Executive Chairman Sergio Fernández de Córdova hosted twelve global leaders in a private meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis to officially bless and launch the Transforming Education Donor Fund to support global education projects.


The event at the Vatican was the culmination of years of work and planning.


PVBLIC Foundation has been collaborating with Pope Francis’ Foundation, Scholas Occurrentes, for more than five years. During this time PVBLIC has supported the Concert for Peace in Madrid in 2019 with over 50 artists performing for 40,000 fans. PVBLIC invested in Scholas Educational Programs around the world and helped bring together 20 of the world’s top artists to auction off the art they created, inspired by Pope Francis — which was subsequently auctioned at a Scholas event at the United Nations.


During the past two years PVBLIC and Scholas leadership have been planning the Transforming Education Donor Fund, a joint partnership with Vatican approval that raises funding to support Scholas’ educational programs around the world. The donor advised fund, aims to combine art, sports and technology in order to promote culture through education, bringing together global agendas and empathy among humans to build a better tomorrow, starting with our youth.

In 2019 the partners came up with a plan to host an “Apostles' meeting” with the Pope, bringing to the Vatican twelve global leaders with the ability to transform our world and also support the work of the Scholas Occurrentes. Then COVID-19 hit and paused everything, until April 15th of this year.


"I got a phone call telling me that within four weeks we needed to deliver the “Apostles” to meet the Pope and that PVBLIC Foundation will be presenting these leaders and all the projects being supported by the Transforming Education Donor Fund. No pressure, whatsoever.” - Sergio Fernandez de Cordova

There were less than four weeks to gather and organize “the Apostles” to come to Rome and meet the Pope. PVBLIC’s team, Board of Advisors and Family Office partners focused and mobilized, and began a journey to bring together an amazing group of leaders and create the experience of a lifetime.



The first full day in Rome was spent at the Vatican and preparing for the meeting with the Pope at the Scholas offices. As part of the group to meet the Pope was His Imperial Highness Ermias of Ethiopia whose 127 generations date back to King Solomon. He was there to solidify his family’s multi-millennial commitment to the Vatican and launch a chapter of Scholas in Ethiopia. While at the Vatican Gardens, HIH Ermias was able to visit the Ethiopian College as was his dream, and the group received a private tour of the historic monastery and college.





When it was time to meet with the Pope, Sergio had the incredible honor of being the Pope's right hand, walking with him to introduce each guest and presenting ten projects that were being supported by the group.


The following projects were presented and blessed:


Who Wants It FIFA 21, a global FIFA eSports gaming tournament that will allow amateur FIFA gamers to compete for a chance to play against a select team of current pro-soccer players in a global competition. Merging the culture of soccer with a digital environment, the tournament uses eSports and valuable unexpected encounters to drive lasting social impact with kids from diverse backgrounds across the globe.

SDG Data Alliance, an innovative data program, representing an open, community-driven partnership whose work is grounded on the belief that data is a human right and that reducing inequalities of all kinds is fundamental to achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and creating a just, healthy, and prosperous world where no one is left behind and everyone can thrive.


Alianza de Impacto Latino (Latino Impact Alliance), a PVBLIC Foundation program which creates and promotes alliances for growth and sustainable development in the Americas, by engaging regional leaders, innovators. and entrepreneurs. The program has connected more than 900 regional leaders via the Latino Impact Summit and other events and projects which have reached more than 40 countries.


América Latina: Red de Jóvenes por el cuidado de la Casa Común (Latin America: Youth Network for taking care of our common home), a Scholas project which benefits more than 100 young people in 10 countries of the region by training and strengthening them as socio-environmental young leaders; and more than 500 children from Latin America sensitized from a socio-environmental perspective.


Estar Juntos: Paliar los efectos socio-económicos del COVID-19 en jóvenes y ancianos (Being Together: Reduce the COVID-19 socio-economic effects in youth and elderly), a project to fight the emotional and cognitive effects of the elderly impacting more than 300 women and men, as well as more than 600 young volunteers.

Ethiopia: Promoting the participation of young people, a project that seeks to generate an approach to the daily problems of each student’s community from a constructive perspective, impacting around 350 young people, more than 10 teachers and managers, as well as 25 educational institutions from Ethiopia.

Haiti: Pibel Poubel, transforming waste into beauty for the care of our common home, a project that supports climate action and environment by creating trash containers with recyclable materials, under the guidance of local artists; impacting more than 200 youth people, 40 teachers and academic directives, and 500 children benefiting from this initiative.

Paraguay: Training in socio-emotional competencies to prevent early withdrawal from school, a project to prevent scholar desertion by training in transversal skills through art and sport, more than 3000 youth people, 500 teachers and academic directives, and 300 academic institutions in Paraguay.

SDG Media Zone, a PVBLIC Foundation program, created in partnership with the UN Department of Global Communications. The goal of the SDG Media Zone is to take the conversation on advancing the SDGs out of the policy sphere and into public discourse. The program’s achievements include: 20 SDG Media Zones hosted, 7 countries participated, 1345+ speakers, 1 billion+ people reached, and 80+ countries reached.



The group of global leaders not only met His Holiness, but also many other leaders of the Vatican to share the progress of Scholas and discuss ways to solve common challenges. PVBLIC and its partners will be working hard to create solutions.


The trip ended with a visit to PVBLIC and Transforming Education Fund’s new office at the Vatican and a morning mass, which unexpectedly was led by the Holy Father, himself. The encounter and final blessing provided a truly magical ending to an amazing journey.


Another meeting with the Holy Father is scheduled for November 25th, where PVBLIC, Scholas and others will report back on the success of the programs presented and introduce a new group of “Apostles”.


As of November 2021 the Transforming Education Donor Fund has worked on some incredible projects including:


Youth Network for the Care of Our "Common Home": 100 young people from 10 Latin American countries trained as socio-environmental leaders.

Scholas Observatory of Youth: Document and express what happens to us, "what we feel and experience", to give a voice to the youth.


To Be Together: Mitigating the socio-emotional effects of COVID-19 in young and old people.


TOFO Surf Club: Containment and accompaniments of Mozambique young people at risk of exclusion.


Haiti Pibel Pouble: Transforming trash into beauty for the care of the common home.


Learn how you can help the Transforming Education Donor Fund lift the spirits of hundreds of thousands of underprivileged children around the world here.




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