It is the last month of preparation by Youth for Unity who are building up to an event that, when last held in 2008, involved more than 100,000 young people from 9 to 17 all over the world. It involves young people of different ethnicities, cultures and religions, all running to give witness to their commitment to peace and unity by crossing some of the planet’s significant places.
Many countries will take part. From Malta, where the island’s President with will start the race for young Christians from different movements and young Muslims; to the USA, in Texas, where the baton will be passed from city to city; to Australia, where there will be young people of all races including Aborigines, to South Africa. In Ireland the invitation to the relay race has gone out nationally to all the schools; in Lithuania the run through the streets of the capital will leave from the Parliament building.
The baton will also pass through places symbolic for peace and unity. In the Holy Land young Jews, Muslims and Christian will run together to Caesarea Maritima, a location rich in history for the three religious and an important archaeological site. In Luxemburg the baton will pass by Schengen, famous for the convention that has given free movement for many citizens in the European Community.
In continental Europe Run4unity 2012 will take place at the same time as the event Together for Europe. This event networks movements and Christian communities and has the commitment of reviving the continent’s Christian soul. The common objectives have been summed up in a repeated ‘yes’ (to peace, to solidarity, to life, to the family…) which using their creativity the young people have expressed in Mathematical symbols.
In many places touched by the relay race across the world, young people will create flash mobs to compose ‘yes’ in various languages. In some places important people from the worlds of sport or culture will be present, or there will be civil or religious authorities.
The relay race will be opened in Oceania at 15:00 local time. Then, as the hour passes 16:00, the event will pass to the next time zone, and so on until all time zones have been covered. In various locations at different latitudes there will be held sporting events, actions demonstrating solidarity with others and good neighbour activities in places of great loneliness, poverty and marginalizaton.
On the web, from Facebook to YouTube, many messages, photos and videos show how many things are already in progress in many countries across the globe.
On 12 May then, on the internet, it will be possible to watch Run4unity. Updates are planned throughout the 24 hours and in several cities in the continents there will be conference calls run by the young people to follow the progress of the batons.