Young People for a United World: a new start!

“Only those crazy enough to think they can change the world can actually do it”. This impression left by one of the participants of the 2011 YPUW Meeting gives us a clear idea of the feeling amongst the 500 young people present: Young People for a United World aren’t about utopian dreams but follow an Ideal that’s worth giving your life for!

A general and intense joy was at the base of the meeting’s festive atmosphere. Here are some of the many impressions left by the young people present: “You need a huge heart to believe in this ideal but you’ve helped me believe in it too”, “You need only look at our faces to see that we are people who are now truly happy”, “I can’t wait to radiate this light unto the whole world, I’m going home with this one task in mind”.

The morning before leaving for Rome to continue festivities at the prayer vigil in Circus Maximus and ceremonies in St. Peter’s for Pope Wojtyla’s beatification, the Meeting’s program focused on the true nature of YPUW: a vision enlarged unto the whole world.

Piero Coda, president of the University Institute Sophia (Loppiano, Florence), along with two of the institute’s students, guided a reflection on the importance of dialogue in every situation. The three speakers underlined the importance of this dialogue for today’s civilisations that, after centuries of separate development, are now called to interdependence, exchange and continuous dialogue. Piero Coda’s following comment seemed emblematic: “History is made by some prophetic figures who know how to illuminate man’s actions, constantly guiding him towards new horizons. Those who build bridges daily, teaching the art of dialogue with their lives, are equally as fundamental to this process. You can be these bridge builders”.

A delegation of young people from the Japanese Buddhist movement Rissho Kosei-kai also participated in the Meeting. They presented their association which has had deep ties of friendship and dialogue with the Focolare for years; they spoke about collaboration for the Arms Down project, the activities they carried out last year in favour of nuclear disarmament and the recent activity to help victims of the Japanese earthquake. Their limpid words underlined how ‘building bridges’ between different movements, cultures and experiences brings about the most unexpected results.

At the end of the Meeting the young people from Rissho Kosei-kai said, “After this exchange with YPUW we are more certain than ever that we are all different, but that using these differences to reach unity is an amazing experience!”

World Unity Week can be followed until 8th May 2001 on:

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