Under the sun of 1st May, Lebanon welcomed the United World Week with a sports day and with the commitment of young people towards a bold objective: eradicating hunger worldwide.
The Fouad Chehab stadium, not far from Beirut, was the venue in which 170 Teens for Unity of the Focolare Movement gathered on Tuesday along with some friends of all ages. They were thus present and on time for the worldwide Run4Unity relay race for peace, which is run every year by hundreds of thousands of teens of all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds across the five continents, bearing witness to their commitment to building peace and living life according to the Golden Rule: “Do to others what you would have them do to you”.
A message that the Lebanese teens wanted to send out loud and clear during the week leading up to the legislative election scheduled for Sunday 6th May.
In a cheerful party atmosphere, teens and adults played sports together for two hours: fourteen teams challenged one another in football and basketball tournaments, and later everyone took part in the traditional relay race. “We wanted to involve older youths and adults too because we wanted the teens to feel supported and so as to create a family atmosphere”, says Romany Botros, one of the organisers. After lunch, which was prepared by the youths, the day continued with prize-giving and bingo.
This year, alongside Run4Unity, the spotlight of the event was on another objective too: the official launch in Lebanon of the #ZeroHunger project, through which the teens and youths of the Focolare Movement have committed to helping the UN put an end to world hunger by 2030.
How? Through concrete initiatives organised at the local level, starting from the places where they live. “That is why we wrote a letter informing the poor we are in contact with about the event on 1st May” – explains Romany – “because all the proceeds of the day will be invested into organising an activity dedicated to them, which will be held in June”.
As a symbol of their commitment and as a tangible memory of this historic launch, all participants took part in the flashmob that concluded the day: they wore white T-shirts and formed the phrase “#ZEROHUNGER” on the grass of the stadium, as their picture was taken from above. At the end of the day, the teens, tired but happy, went home with the feeling of having been a part of something great.