An environmental engineer for a united world
Amanda Casimiro has dark, curly hair framing a smiling, open, and sweet face. After having texted each other for a while via email, today, thanks to Skype, I can finally associate a face to her email address.
«These days I am in my parents’ home,» she explains with her summer dress that reminds me, with a little envy, that beyond the equator it is vacation time, «because I just graduated in environmental engineering! So, I take this opportunity to have a rest and to look around».
Amanda, 25, is from Castanhal, a town not far from Belém, in the North of Brazil. A few years ago, she left her country to do an internship experience at a US business, Mundell and Associates, a member of the business network of the Economy of Communion.
«It all started when I heard about the Economy of Communion (EoC) from my parents. In the past, I thought it was an issue far away from my reality but when I began attending university and I had my first working experience in a small company created by students, I began to take an interest in the business world and I realized that even there I had the opportunity to live the spirituality of unity that I had learned since my childhood from the Focolare».
In 2015, as she wanted to get to know this economic experience more in depth, Amanda decided to participate in a summer school of Economy of Communion organized in her country.
«The school was very interesting and even a profound experience! I understood that this economic culture could be lived by everyone. Because everyone could live and spread the “culture of giving”, that “giving” which includes the economic sphere as an expression of “giving oneself” to others, of being and living in communion with people. It was an unforgettable experience».
When, a few years later, Amanda became aware that some companies belonging to the Economy of Communion network had started internships for young people and students, she ‘took the ball’ and asked to participate in the program.
«I found the best experience I could do with my training: an EDC company that was specialized in environmental engineering! I had the opportunity to combine the two things that I love the most», she told me.
Mundell and Associates is located in the State of Indiana, USA, and Amanda has been working there for five months in 2017, along with two other interns.
«We have lived together and shared almost all our tasks: the materials on the Economy of Communion to be studied, but also our business plan for the creation of an EoC company. And, once a week, we had dinner with the company owners, John and Julie Mundell, an opportunity to get to know each other and share our experiences».
Amanda recalls that, in this climate of communion, the interns also collaborated in the project for a social enterprise proposed by a trainee from the previous year: a company for the reintegration of women who had been released from prison, through an artistic and handicraft wooden manufacture: Project Lia.
«This experience was a huge opportunity! I learned a lot about the philosophy and practice of the EoC, and about how I can live it in my life. Because, as I already said, the Economy of Communion is not just for companies or entrepreneurs. Everyone can live it. And when people begin to live for others, to love others as themselves, even social problems are transformed, and we experience the happiness of truth: sharing is within everyone’s reach».
And now, dreams time. What would Amanda want to do in her life?
«I would like to work in a company as an environmental engineer, and monitor the environmental impact, in every context. And above all, to live out and share this experience of the Economy of Communion with the people I will be working with!».