Youth for a United World of 29 nations, including 14 African, tell us with a document their Nairobi, Kenya from 25 April to 5 May 2014.

SharingWithAfricaIt 'a document that tells what happened in Nairobi, Kenya, from 25 April to 5 May 2014 Sharing the project with Africa, the third stage of the United World Project after Budapest and Jerusalem.

Days in which young people from 29 nations, including 14 African, have had the opportunity to learn the fundamental aspects of African culture, such as Ubuntu or the community, for example, through workshops, the participation of scholars and above all 'meeting. All this has produced a final document that we propose below along with the Decalogue: Ten points representing ten different ways to build a united world.

 

FINAL DOCUMENT of the International Youth for a United World programme

What concrete contribution can the African young people give to the culture of universal brotherhood?

Ubuntu means: “I am because we are, and because we are, I am.” This is the underlying blueprint of many African cultures and it was also the theme of “Sharing with Africa”, an event that took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 25th April to 5th May 2015, and which has gathered around 130 young people from Africa and the rest of the world. All in all, the participants belonged to 29 different nationalities. This proposal to live and build an experience of authentic brotherhood among peoples was launched much earlier. 

From the very first sessions of this undertaking, a new understanding of the idea of reciprocity has led us to put into dialogue each person’s culture with the core of Ubuntu, with the desire for all to be enriched by its values and transmit them to one’s own environment and throughout the world. It was a big challenge: first of all, we have rediscovered what it means to build unity while respecting the differences between us and between our peoples. 

The history of each culture is usually studded with the names of the founding fathers. Plato and Aristotle, for example, are the fathers of Western thought. However, in African cultures, we do not come across the names of individual characters because it is the community that is the cradle of every innovation, the home of every tradition. The way of thinking and various cultural conceptions, from the beginning, are born from the life of the community.

“UMUNTU NGUMUNTU NGABANTU” goes the African proverb: “I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am,” and still: “I am what I am because of who we all are!” This is the insignia of the collective African consciousness, the principle on which ethical and social values are rooted.

Ubuntu may be expressed into a series of terms and practices that date back to the very African societies themselves. Each person acquires these customs from his or her community, where they are safeguarded and orally and socially transmitted from one generation to another, in view of the common welfare. Our programme gave us the possibility to search for these positive values and we were overwhelmed by this experience.

In a world context of ongoing economic and social crises, where acute individualism rips apart every relationship and unregulated capitalism sows death, the African peoples are and propose an alternative. The sterile narcissism of many companies in the North of the planet is beaten by the courage, creativity and joy that characterises this continent - rich in resources, participation, solidarity and openness to spirituality - even though it is poor in economic assets. The false promises of happiness that society’s material well-being programmatically feeds its followers are disproved: the essence of human achievement is to be found in the interpersonal relationships and in the sharing of what one is and what one has.

Community, hospitality, sharing and forgiveness: these are some of the pillars that support the life of the villages in Africa where one treats the other person as a brother, a father, a mother, a son. These pillars are the soul and this is what we have experienced during the programme and through the numerous stories of fraternity that the young Africans have shared with us, including gestures from everyday life and choices of heroism. This was the case of the Youth for a United World from Tanzania. For four years, under the gaze of the astonished doctors, volunteers donated blood in conditions of great personal risk, and yet an act that actually transmits and renews the gift of life.

This experience has convinced us that the search for the common good is not a utopia but a reality that can come true for everyone, even today. Thus, the daily prospect of a happy life, which brings communion between peoples and cultures, is near. This requires us to continue to work hard in overcoming the conditions of injustice, inequality and oppression; to recognize human rights, both individual and collective; and to work for economic and social emancipation as well as the political freedoms of the peoples of the African continent. 

The vision of Ubuntu can become a common reference point to build relationships both locally and on a broader level. For this reason, it is necessary that Ubuntu leads to fruitful dialogue with different cultures that have flourished in other regions of the world, helping to highlight complementary perspectives to enrich the unity of the human family while safeguarding its diversity. That is, focusing on what unites us and not what divides us. 

In this way, the path towards universal brotherhood will become more and more shareable and shared. This is the very meaning of the symbolic planting of the “tree of fraternity” at the end of the experience in Nairobi. So let’s go ahead with “Sharing with Africa!”

Decalogue

1. See each human being as your brother or sister, and build relationships that aim at reciprocal responsibility.

2. Take initiative in building bridges, including everyone.

3. Share unconditionally: goods, joys, sufferings and experiences. Utilize all appropriate means of communication to share our ideals and convictions, that a united world is possible.

4. Value your own culture and talents and be willing to share them to build brotherhood with all.

5. Be open and accept the treasures that each person and culture can offer.

6. Give time to create and develop relationships.

7. Welcome one another.

8. Seek reconciliation and unity through dialogue, mutual understanding and searching for wisdom within and between our communities.

9. Strive to go beyond your individual concerns and build real communities open to all.

10. Highlight and celebrate our progress towards fraternity and a united world.

 Watch this video on Sharing with Africa: click here

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