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Friday, April 20, 2012
Fundraising in Melbourne, Australia, to raise funds for an "Action for a United World" project on the Thai /Burmese Border

On Saturday 24 March a concert was held in Melbourne. It was hosted by the Focolare and the Kadhampa Buddhist Society. Around 100 people attended and the concert raised $840.00 for Action for a United World (AMU) project on the Thai/Burmese border, which provides schooling and food to children of Burmese refugees. A Sudanese family at the concert, who had arrived in Australia as refugees themselves, commented how happy they were to be able to support the evening’s fundraising and support other refugees.

The concert coincided with “Harmony Day”, an Australian Government initiative to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity and share what all Australians have in common. Together with the Kadhampa Buddhist group, friends of the Focolare from various Muslim and Jewish communities were present as well.

The youth of the Focolare supported the evening by inviting their friends to perform and by making the guests welcome acting as waiters distributing finger food throughout the evening. They expressed the theme of a United World through a backdrop behind the performers displaying the world surrounded by people holding hands.

A Powerpoint presentation explaining the fundraising project and highlighting the cooperation between Focolare and Kadhampa over the past year was keenly followed by the audience.

One of the Muslim guests said after the concert that she considered the Focolare her second home and throughout the evening there was a beautiful atmosphere of everyone being at home. A Jewish couple was happily surprised to see so many young people putting their talents in common for a good cause and commented how struck they were by the smiles of the people as they arrived. A beautiful conversation they had with a young Palestinian man who performed during the program epitomised the unity built during the evening.