Observe, involve, think. But also act, evaluate, enjoy. These six actions summarise the steps to be taken in developing an action plan in the local districts involving entire communities, starting off from the children. In what way? By helping them take on a different view of their own daily growth, for example from at home, at school, and by talking about situations and facts that signal out a specific problem. And taking these situations as the starting point of an action plan that responds to the social and fraternal indicators, to imply acts that are not based on expectations of a personal profit, but aimed only to benefit the others according to their needs, and enhancing that possibility of generating a positive reciprocity.
This is only one of the action plans launched for the extensive panorama of the Youth for Unity: featuring also Run4Unity, Super Soccer, the Universal Person workshop, Let’s Colour the City, and Schoolmates’ Give Projects and still another project in the making, made possible also thanks to a network of young and adult educators. Recently, about a 100 of these educators attended a meeting in Castel Gandolfo (27-30 November), mostly from Italy, with representatives from France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary and even from Guatemala, Paraguay and India.
Deep inside, all had a common desire to mould the new generation, and work with them. They spared no effort, time and energy, in the conviction that “without an adequate educational project it would be practically impossible to set up a serious and enduring project at the service of a new humanity”. Pope Francis he urged all to “educate” during the general audience with the Focolare Movement. “Chiara Lubich had also coined an expression which is still very actual today, saying – we need to mould the “global person,” men and women with hearts and souls modeled after the mentality of Jesus, and who are thus able to read and interpret the needs, uncertainties and hopes besetting each human being”.
But to be able to educate, one has to be trained: this is why a lot of time was given to refreshing and deepening Chiara Lubich’s views on education, and a psycho-pedagogical approach to target and promote “Life Skills” in the group of children. Besides peer-to-peer education which an adolescent necessarily needs, the role of the adult guide is fundamental, and this guide must imbue trust, and leave room for creativity, free initiatives, the possibility to experiment on oneself, and put oneself to the test.
In this perspective also the new initiatives came about, like the “It’s up to me” educational project (Up2me) which focuses on affection and sexuality at the developmental stage, undertaken in synergy between the teams of Children for Unity and the New Families, and addressing the pre-adolescents and adolescents. The person–relation is a referral paradigm, in the anthropological vision sparked up by the charism of unity, that is, the person in his being-in-relation with the other, in his capacity to love and be loved, to give and accept.
During an open dialogue session with the educators, Jesús Morán invited all to “recognise the signs of the times” in the digital revolution and to immerse themselves in this culture without being gullible. And Maria Voce, in relaunching, the pathway of the Children for Unity, three years after the birth in the Focolare Movement’s children’s branch, advised all to pay “greater attention to the poverty and sobriety of life” by walking alongside the children to ward off the constant risk of consumerism that creates situations in which, for example, the craze for the latest smartphone, makes the youth lose sight of the great material poverty around us.