Youth for Unity: A Global Project

An international project site for teenage boys that will be undertaken in July 2014 reaching from Argentina to the world

The international Youth for Unity project will begin in Italy and then (July 2014) Argentina.

The reasons for this choice are many, the most important one being that of demonstrating how much the Latin American continent that is comprised of peoples with such diverse cultural roots, has to offer to the world. Moreover at the last project site which was held in the Focolare town of Loppiano (July 2012), the teenager in attendance had expressed their desire to repeat the experience every two years on a different continent.

The idea of beginning at Mariapolis Lia in Argentina came because of the abundant presence of young people that characterizes this Focolare town located on the Pampas. Thus it was chosen to be the place that will host the first phase of the project because of its special ability to welcome the new generations.

The Global Project has two phases. The first will be carried out at Mariapolis Lia where, for four days, the boys from around the world will set up their project site through a dynamic program whose goal will be to learn to “relate” with everyone by overcoming cultural differences, sharing personal experiences and being enriched by those of others – all in a climate of mutual love that allows each and all together, to be formed into world men.

The second phase of the project will take place in a variety of cities of the Latin American continent where there are already social projects that are animated by the spirituality of unity (schools, clinics, child-care centres, elderly care).

This experience will “give witness,” as Focolare president, Maria Voce stated during a visit to Latin America in spring 2012 “that there is no boarder nor ethnic difference that is insurmountable. There’s not anything, not even the Andes that divide us, not even the ocean, nothing, nothing, nothing. We can go beyond all of these things because of our reciprocal love.”

By visiting local sites the boys will be able to enter into local environments, to embrace real challenges, as well as the cultural riches of each people. Within this atmosphere, together with local teenagers who live in these cities, the participants from other countries will be engaged in social projects through contact with native populations in local “culture of giving” projects; for example, in sport, art, and so on. This project was born from a need to look toward the world, after a few years of involvement in the “Let’s Colour the City” project. Because Chiara Lubich would say: “one city is not enough: aim far, at your own country, and at everyone’s country – the world.”     

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