“Citizens of the World” Youth camp, the world championship of fraternity

 
In Argentina, in the Little Town of Mariapolis Lia, 500 adolescents from all over the world begin an exciting experience of fraternity.

wpid-1405513584821.jpgThe tension of those 115 minutes of play time is felt all over the world, and even more so in Argentina. Everyone is in front of the television screen for the finals of the Soccer World Cup. When Germany makes a goal, there is a moment of profound silence, then a shout of joy from those who side with that team and immediately after the applause of everyone.

They are the more than 500 teens from different Countries who arrived in the Argentinian Little Town of the Focolare Movement (250 kms. away from Bueno Aires), to participate in the “Citizens of the World” Youth Camp that started on July 14. Some were supposed to arrive later but they hurried to come so as to live together the great finals. There were flags, faces painted with the colours of the two national teams, songs, cheers… everything, but all done in mutual respect. Even if they didn’t know one another, in a short time freindships were formed.

They are adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, coming from 27 countries and 5 continents. They are all members of Teens for unity. Sharing the World Cup finals together was a happy coincidence, as it became an opportunity to practice living the experience of fraternity, before starting the tasks to be done during the first week of the youth camp.

The proposal consists of realizing an international workshop where teens are formed according to the culture of fraternity, and which will allow them to acquire a worldwide dimension, where one learns to respect and love the country of the other as one’s own.

The event will take place in two stages. The first week will be held at the Mariapolis Lia, where the teens will work together in a dynamic programme, “just like in a laboratory” they explain, “where different elements are mixed together to produce something new. This is what we want to do during these days”. The objective is to learn to build relationships with everyone, in a venue of  a “culture of reciprocity” that allows each one to be formed as “men and women citizens of the world”.

Saturday July 19, the first phase concludes with a day open to other teen boys and girls and with a live streaming link up (live.focolare.org/rpu) with the Teens for Unity all over the world. At the end of the day they will make a pact to commit themselves to “going towards the peripheries”, so as to concretize actions of solidarity in terms of fraternity.

From July 20 to 27, during the second week, the project will continue, moving to different cities of the Latin American continent, where there are social iniziative animated by the spirituality of unity, typical of the Focolare Movement. This include schools, community centers, homes for street children, home for the elderly.

In the meantime, the streets and the areas of the Little Town come to life and experience a new sprint with the presence of these teens who want to participate in the “world championship of fraternity”.

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