The Gen 4, the children of the Focolare Movement have many experiences about “taking care”. As well as putting themselves out there to help people, they appeal to adults to take care of all the children in the world who are in need.

All over the world, the “Gen 4”, the children of the Focolare Movement, have many concrete experiences: it’s almost like a contest in every continent, to try to love their neighbours by taking care of those most in need. Here are some examples: let’s start in India, where some Gen 4 decided to take care of the poor who live on the streets, by preparing a hot meal for them. One of the Gen 4 told us: “My mum and I prepared cups of hot noodles, a typical pasta from some Asian countries; my brother and dad distributed them to the poor. There are many poor children living on the streets! We’ve started to do this every Friday.”

In Greece, the children of the Focolare decided to get in touch with some Senior citizens who were isolated in their retirement home due to Covid-19. They involved their friends and collected drawings, with which they made a poster that everyone really liked.

Let’s go to Korea now, where a Gen 4 decided to donate her hair to children who have cancer. A friend joined her and they both let their hair grow, so that they would be able to donate it. They were happy to help the sick children.

From Burundi, we heard that many Gen 4 collected food and brought it to a orphanage. These Gen 4, who don’t have much themselves, were happy to bring gifts to other children!

In Australia, some adults were distributing food to the homeless and to students in economic difficulty. The Gen 4 wanted to help. They prepared postcards to go with the packages that were distributed.

For about two years, the Gen 4 of the Mariapolis Ginetta in Brazil, South America, have collected milk and juice cartons, collaborating with an NGO that runs a project called “No cracks in Brazil”. The cartons are used to cover the cracks in the walls of houses, insulating them and preventing insects getting in. They can also be used to make thermal blankets for the homeless.

Another example, this time from Ireland: the gen 4 took part in an initiative launched by the National Post Office. They involved the local community and sent postcards, small packages and gifts for Senior citizens living alone.

Finally we go to Portugal : After seeing a news programme showing images of war, 7 year old João wondered: “What can we Gen 4 do?”. He rang the coordinator of his Gen 4 group. They had the idea of raising awareness in the political world. João and his sister jointly wrote a statement from children to politicians, teachers and all civil and religious authorities. The statement says: “Our laws speak of children’s rights, but they should be more explicit in demanding the duty of care. (…) We know it’s not easy (…), but if you change the life of just one child, it’s  already worth sending you this statement! If you take care of us, we will take care of the world!” A delegation of Gen 4 brought the Statement to the place in Porto where the Social Summit of the European Commission was taking place. That same evening, the news was broadcast on the TV news. The Statement of the Gen 4  has now been translated into several languages and is spreading to many countries throughout the world.

Laura Salerno

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