It started as a school for children with hearing and speech impediments, but IRAP is much more than this. Everyone feels at home there and workshops for crafts and cookery have developed creating jobs and settings for a shared life. IRAP’s story shows that integration is not something exceptional but the daily life and destiny of the Lebanese people.
This country has all it takes to be a model for the world of shared life in society and among religions. Yet the longstanding political and economic crises undermine this careful balance. For 50 years the Focolare has been seeking to make its own contribution.
From Chiara Lubich’s talk at the 7th Assembly of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, Amman, 29th November 1999.
No more people in need, no more hunger, starting from our own neighbourhood. This is the challenge that the Teens for Unity in Mumbai have taken on and work for. They have collected used plastics and newspapers to recycle to support a centre for women in need and families hit by HIV. What started with a few children now involves over 200 families in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
In step with the Church, the Focolare Movement is working to give child protection the attention it deserves. We take stock of the situation with Olga Maria Rodriguez (jointly responsible for the Central Commission of the Focolare for the Promotion of the Wellbeing and Protection of Minors (CO.BE.TU in Italian)) and Orazio Moscatello (a lawyer and expert in the rights of Families and of Minors and a member of CO.BE.TU).