What future awaits us? This is the question being asked by millions of youths from Asia to theMiddle East who do not wish to just sit back and watch. The Genfest will be an opportunity for many of them to broaden their horizon beyond the civil wars and failed revolutions, global crises and a culture of fear – to make more daring proposals. One such proposal involves the formation of a research group that would examine whether fraternity, that “forgotten principle” of modern history would be able to influence both our individual and collective choices and decisions.
United World Project (UWP)is the name of a project that was created by the Focolare’s Youth For A United World (www.y4uw.org) and it is open to collaboration with all youth groups and international networks from other religions and cultures with whom it has cooperated on other topics in the past. According to the inspiring words of Chiara Lubich: “Fraternity can bring about freedom and equality in the city, and this consists in creating the conditions so that every person, every citizen, family, association, business and school can express its own personality and offer the best of itself.” It is up to the youth to translate this idea into concrete decisions. With the help of experts and other young professionals the project has already begun to take shape and will be carried out in three phases: Network, Watch (the observatory) and Workshop.
- United World NETWORK: To form a worldwide network of youths who are asked to personally commit themselves by putting their signature to it. The goal will be to study the requirements for a culture of universal fraternity and for commitment to living the Golden Rule: Do to unto others as you would have them do unto you. This first phase of the project would begin during the Genfest, with the first gathering of signatures. It would continue until the launching of the next World Unity Week, 1 May 2013, when the Observatory will be formally established.
- United World WATCH:The establishment of a permanent international Observatory to examine activities and projects that were capable of producing an “increase in the level of fraternity” in the social, economic, cultural and political fabric of the world. It will evaluate indicators of social cohesion, peace, acceptance and dialogue among people of different religions and culture, interdependence, recognition of rights, forgiveness and reconciliation, inclusion and integration, reduction in inequalities, respect for and awareness of the environment. . . The Observatory would also promote specific cultural activities.
- United World WORKSHOP: The request to the UN that it recognize the international interests of the World Unity Week by confirming and expanding even more the annual event that for fifteen years it has seen the youths of the Focolare and others being committed to in spreading the word about universal fraternity. The process of recognition by the UN is already underway.
The United World Project is for all countries, but the continent ofAfrica holds a special place, since it has been welcoming the Youth For A United World’s ‘spaces of fraternity’ since the 1960’s. Through this common path and sharing in the suffering of others, they have acquired a strong sense of community, discovered new models for involvement and real change.
Ark Tabin from the Philippines belongs to a UWP work group. He is particularly involved with mapping out the various projects already underway in several countries which will serve as the basis for the observatory. In his city, for example, there is a nutrition programme for the poorest children and a clothing drive for hospital patients from distant villages. For him, his signature “does not only mean espousing an idea, but committing to living a better life, to looking around, to intervening. When you’ve signed our name, it means you want to get involved in changing the world beginning from your own corner of the world.”
The appointment is for 1 September 2012 where the gathering of signatures is to be part of the large Genfest event entitled Let’s Bridge,
More info at: http://www.focolare.org/area-press-focus/en/
The logo made by a young Italian graphic artist, is composed of two circles. The interior circle – outlined in pencil – represents the world. The external circle – coloured in blue to signify the universality of Heaven – represents a protective mantle. Other religious or political meanings have been excluded.