Universal Goal = Zero Hunger


The project to defeat world hunger which was initiated by the Focolare Movement’s Youth for Unity  is continuing. On Saturday 16 October 2021, hundreds of young people will gather together as a sign of their commitment to this cause.  This event will be live streamed from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm. (Italian time).

“From now onwards, we commit ourselves to this goal with great confidence and enthusiasm. We feel that we are now part of the Zero Hunger generation. It’s like a dream to imagine that we are contributing to a world in which there will be no hunger in a few years time.”  This is what  Elena and Agnese, representatives of the Focolare Movement’s Youth for Unity said at the Food and Agriculture Organisation in June 2018.

Elena and Agnese together with 630 other girls aged 9 to 14 from 16 countries sat in the large plenary hall (see video) of the headquarters of the United Nation’s FAO in Rome, Italy.

The FAO had sent a very clear invitation to the Youth for Unity: “Young people, we need you: help us defeat world hunger.” On 25 September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations approved 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and committed to their implementation within 15 years, (2015-2030). The second goal is Zero Hunger Fame Zero:  eradicating hunger from our planet.

These girls signed cards, pledging their commitment to become the first Zero Hunger citizens.

That day marked the start of a global race of love from Youth for Unity with the objective  of Zero Hunger.

In Venezuela, for example, the situation is daunting. Poor families are more afraid of hunger than of the Covid 19 pandemic. However,  thanks to  a Centre for Nutrition, the young people are able to help a group of families. Also, in  2017, a network of medical professionals, psychologists, nutritionists and a number of parish priests began a project to help others  to build more positive and peaceful social relationships based on the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

A different initiative is happening in Thailand where young people distribute seeds to friends and their families to plant organic vegetables and help them save money as we suffer from this global crisis.

In Argentina, Fran is part of a group called ‘Corazones solidarios’, young university students who go out onto the streets every day to offer breakfast to people who are homeless.  He says, “When you approach these people, their faces change, they welcome you with open arms and make a place for you in their hearts. Every morning, we leave home  with bags that are full of provisions: we come back with empty flasks and happy hearts.”

In Portugal, the boys from Lisbon go to a neighbourhood where there are many families who are living in difficult and challenging circumstances. A “race of love” began to provide blankets and tinned food. Some people also offered to cook pasta and rice. As soon as this was delivered, providence arrived with more food to distribute to other families.

These and other testimonies will be recounted during the live streaming – suitable for children, young people and adults – on Saturday 16 October 2021 from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm.(Italian time).  The live stream will be translated into 12 languages, just access this link.

The #testacuoremani charter of commitment

Youth for Unity have devised eight pathways to help others learn about this way of life.  These pathways can be lived by individuals or groups. There is also a charter of commitment – to use head, hands and heart – to actively promote this way of life.

Head. We use our heads to study and become well informed. The more I know about the reality in which  poor people are living, the more effective my commitment will be.

Heart. Let us listen with our hearts to the cry of those who suffer: let us increase  awareness both in ourselves and in others. I cannot defeat world hunger alone, but I can involve as many people as possible in order to reach this goal.

Hands. Let us open our hands to the gift of hospitality, let us take concrete action on a daily basis to defeat hunger. Let us commit ourselves to avoiding all types of waste.

Lorenzo Russo

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