In the souk in Aleppo we hear form Jalal: war means destruction and loss, that is true, but crossing the threshold of the Focolare we find a home and a community, a refuge and place of comfort, hope and joy, where people support one another in getting up and starting over again.
Travelling from Damascus to Aleppo, you go through Homs. We saw for ourselves what is happening there: the rebuilding and the people’s determination to go back to a normal life in a country where the war is not yet over and rubble blocks roads and hinders lives. We saw what the Focolare is doing through projects run by the Action for a United World (AMU) and the New Families Association (AFN).
A report on a journey with Egilde Verì who came back to Syria after 14 years and after a terrible conflict. We travel to Damascus with her to meet and hear from the Focolare community there.
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.
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).
Suppose that just for once the media stopped being part of the problem and became part of the solution. This is a story by Austin Kellerman, news director at the local NBC TV station, and his team. They worked to lessen violence in their city.