United World Week: Building Fraternity around the World

 

Imagine looking down on Earth wearing special glasses, capable of highlighting the degree of fraternity experienced in the world among human beings. Certainly, from May 1st to 7th, we would notice an unusual peak, a great fermentation on every latitude of the planet. In fact, “No One in Need“, the 2019 United World Week has already begun and many teens, young people, adults, entire communities are in action, to bear witness that a united world is possible!

The United World Week was celebrated in North America with the Run4Unity, which gathered young people in different cities such as New York; Houston, and Corpus Christi, and El Paso, Texas, to mention only some.

It was also a moment to run together for unity. For the fourth consecutive year, teens, young people and adults will be running on both sides of the border between Mexico and the United States, right next to the wall, in the presence of the mayor of Mexicali, Mexico, and deputies from Calexico, United States.

Let’s start with South America. In Palmas, Brazil, on May 1st, a group of young people invited their friends and all those who wanted to participate, to live for unity and peace. How? By helping a family in economic difficulty with a donation of one kilogram of food. The food collection took place at Cesamar Park, animated by games and music.

On the same day, in Loppiano (one of the many international little towns of the Focolare), in the province of Florence, 1400 teens, young people and families participated in the traditional May Day event, this year entitled “Good Vibes.”

All were invited to initiate and become leaders of processes of change, overcoming individualism and loneliness with the culture of giving and overcoming prejudice and fear of “the different” with acceptance and fraternity.

Proceeding eastward, again on May 1st, in Bandra, India, at Mount Mary Church, the Youth for a United World of that city invited the entire community to a moment of prayer for Sri-Lanka, victim of recent acts of violence, and to commit to peace.

Also in Mumbai, India, from the 2nd to the 4th of May, a school called “#NoOneInNeed” was held, to discover one’s own needs and those of others, to take on a new life style based on the culture of giving. During the school, many topics were addressed: communication, relational needs, ecology, and peace. There were also various workshops including one work session dedicated to IntotheLABel – the “responsible consumer” laboratory. Among the participants were young people from various parts of India, Nepal and Sri-Lanka.

On the island of Cebu, Philippines, on the evening of May 1st, the Youth for a United World launched the #NoOneInNeed campaign at the Bukas Palad Cebu Foundation, Inc.

The invitation published on social media was nothing short of original: “Start by bringing your excess valuables or things you no longer use, to share!” Many have already responded to their appeal, like Fred, a player of “Pokemon Go” and a friend of some Youth for a United World who are passionate about the same game. On the evening of May 1st, he brought with him 85 items of clothing that he had worn less than twice and which he no longer considers “his” but of those who need it most.

n short, the United World Week consisting of big events and personal gestures, has come alive! And this weekend, it will continue with the race that aims to unite the world – Run4unity (Sunday, May 5th) – also animated by the slogan “No One In Need.” Many cities have already or will be taking part in it.

Guests of the Branice Psychiatric Hospital in Poland will also participate in Run4Unity (R4U) for the third time. They wrote, “We are a psychiatric hospital with a century-old tradition. In our hospital we take care of over 500 people with mental illness. Last year around 300 took part in RUN4UNITY and we were the only representatives from Poland.” In New Caledonia and also in Christchurch, New Zealand, the city that suffered two terrorist attacks on two mosques last March, the race will involve young people of different religions.

In Italy, Run4Unity will take place in Pisa, Rome, Matera, Ischia, Turin, Foggia, Milan, Abbiategrasso and Perugia, organized by the Maria Montessori International High School together with the Amatori Nuoto cooperative, involving some associations for children with disabilities. Among the various activities, there will also be a hand ball game on wheelchairs, to create an integration experience through sport.

To discover other events, just visit the site: Run4unity.

Have a great United World Week! And remember to share your stories with the hashtag #NoOneInNeed.

Tamara Pastorelli