On 21st March 2013, the Genfest and the United World Project were presented at the European Information Centre in Lisbon
During a high level European Union meeting focused on the “Europe for citizens” programme, around one hundred participants belonging to associations, civil and state institutions, and two Youth for a United World (Y4UW) shared about the Genfest 2012 in Budapest (supported by the European Union) and the United World Project as a whole and in its implementation in Portugal. This took place on 21st March in the Portuguese capital during a Conference organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal and the Secretary of State for Culture.
The first part of the conference was dedicated to the binding situation of the debt crisis that has affected Cyprus and the impact that these events may have on the realization of a more united Europe. An analysis was directly conducted by Luiz Sá Pessoa, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal and Henrique Parente, Director General of the Office on Strategy, Planning and Evaluation of the Cultural Secretary of State for Culture.
Afterwards, the two Youth for a United World, António Vieira and Maria Maia, were invited to speak. Following such a problematic introduction, many of the participants experienced a sense of relief and hope when they heard about the Genfest and the United World Project. At the end of the afternoon, the Director of the European Information Centre ‘Jacques Delors’ said: “the project is not only concerned about Europe but about the whole world.” There were other positive impressions shared after the presentation, among which, one of the persons working at the Secretariat of State for Culture, greeted Maria and Antonio, encouraging them to carry on with their work as – he said – “we need you and your plans for the future.”
The two Y4UW wrote to us saying: “more and more young people and adults desire to get involved in this exciting challenge and become actors of universal brotherhood.” So much so, that starting from today, the United World Project formation material and the Genfest summary DVD are available on the European Commission website.
Meanwhile, reports regarding the various initiatives concerning the building of fraternity by youth and institutions keep on coming from Portugal. Among these, the young people from the north of Portugal are working on a series of actions that aim at creating brotherhood between three fractions of a town usually at odds with each other. The young people living in central part of Portugal are promoting an initiative called: “Unity between generations”. It aims at providing support and assistance to the lonely elderly people. At Arco Iris, the youth residing at the ‘little town’ of the Focolare Movement are trying to make up for educational deficiency that children and teenagers are going through by promoting educational activities and games. For the time being, these activities will be held during the Easter holidays with the desire to carry them out on regular basis.