From the 6th to the 10th of November 2018, forty Bishops friends of Focolare, from 12 different Churches and five continents met at Sigtuna, Sweden, bringing with them the challenges and joys of their lives. What is the significance of these gatherings and do they accomplish anything? Susan Gately, a journalist from Ireland, finds out.
In the “Ecopesce” (Ecofish) workshop and the shop called “E Nustren” nothing is thrown away. This is the philosophy behind a small business based at Cesenatico in Italy that processes and sells fish from the Adriatic Sea, using only refrigeration technology. What reaches the customers’ table is a product that would otherwise not be valued or perhaps even thrown away. All this happens by putting sharing before economics.
Almost two months after the devastating floods in the Indian region of Kerala, news has reached us of aid given to the local people and for rebuilding. The local communities of the Focolare Movement are involved in this, thanks to funds sent from all over the world. Father Shinto Kuzhinjalil, the founder of the “For You Trust”, a humanitarian organisation, tells how things are currently progressing.
A priest’s act of fellowship transformed a failing coffee plantation into a real business named Acedeco Padevi. It is community led and inspired by the principles of the Economy of Communion. Choosing the diversify the production process lead to greater sharing, new jobs and the development of the business, while respecting the environment.
Over 1,000 children and teenagers took part in the “Sports4Peace” event held in Kenya, South Sudan and Burundi at the end of August. Sport can become a means to build peace and help overcome social barriers.
After the terrible earthquake in Mexico in 2017, a group of young people from the little town called “El Diamante” [the diamond] went to Contla, a town that had been almost completely destroyed, to help rebuild. The initial shock meant there was much work to do, but above all they shared the pain of the townsfolk and built relationships that were … indestructible.
The town of Gary in Indiana is one of the poorest in the USA. 100 teenagers from six States went there to help organise activities with the homeless, to serve at a soup kitchen/canteen and work on urban renewal. For many of them it was an unforgettable experience, which opened their eyes not only to the needs but also the beauty of the town, which is, before all else, a community.
It all started from a canteen offering meals for children, then literacy courses were added which gave work to a number of young teachers in the area. Supported by the New Families Association the “Pequena Chama” (Little Flame) School clearly shows that help given my many people generates development together with human and social solidarity.