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Saturday, September 29, 2012
Twenty-six years of cooperation for development in order to be actively involved in a more just and united world. The experience of a Focolare NGO.

From Rio+20 to LoppianoLab, from a project in Bolivia to the Day of Literacy. These are just some of the areas in which the Focolare’s AMU (Associazione per un mondo unito – the Action for a United World) is currently engaged.

When the Focolare Movement spread from Europe to other lands, it often met situations of extreme poverty. Love for the poor and “becoming one” with the local environment was then translated into concrete social projects such as schools, clinics and social centres.

As these projects began to develop the need became obvious for a way of providing ongoing economic support, for finding solutions that were not welfare support but based on development and reciprocity.

Thus, in 1986, the Action for a United World(AMU) was begun, which is a non-governmental association of the United Nations and recognized by the Italian Ministry of External Affairs, operating in the field of cooperation, development training and education.

Today AMU has produced 350 successful projects in 56 countires: from instruction to professional training, from support for basic needs (food, shelter, health) to building infrastructure, from post-emergency health care to micro credit and micro entrepreneurship.

But this is not sufficient unless it is accompanied by a cultural change that depends on everyone, both in the Northern and Southern regions of the world. This is why, along with these development projects, AMU also works for the promotion of human rights. Through conferences and training courses it places attention on the goods we are all meant to share, the practice of sober and supportive lifestyles, the responsible use of the earth’s resources, active citizenship on both a local and a global level.

In all of its interventions, AMU strives to place at the centre the human person together with his or her rights and needs. This is done through a methodology of communion, working with the people, solving problems together and producing useful and sustainable change over time.

Once a relationship has been established in which it possible for everyone to give and to receive – when there is reciprocity – then the project has fulfilled its objective. Those who give feel that they have received, and those who receive desire to give in return; and you move from solidarity to fraternity.

Many people around the world are linked up with AMU through its website and its magazine “AMU Notizie” (AMU News).

Donators and beneficiaries, both participate and collaborates according to their feeling, needs and possibilites. Everyone, without distinction, can belong to this network that become AMU’s biggest wealth.