United World Week in Africa
To say “Enough with Poverty” and rebel against a two-speed world, that of the rich and that of the poor, the children and young people of the Focolare throughout the world, together with adults, have launched, on the occasion of the United World Week 2019, the “No One In Need” campaign, addressed to all those who care about those in need and live the injustice of poverty on their own skin. Africa has also participated in this great ‘expo of brotherhood’, through many actions aimed at raising awareness. Here are some of them.
The “Run4unity” global relay race has also arrived in Cameroon, torn apart by the conflict between separatists and government forces in the English-speaking regions of the country, where the humanitarian situation is getting worse.
They wrote from Bamenda: «We want to share the joy of Run4Unity’s success in a Bamenda in peace. We felt the presence of God thanks to the calm and serene atmosphere that allowed us to carry out all our activities in a normal way. Concretely, everyone brought some soap and we visited the hospital to offer it to the sick and to the mothers who gave birth. We left the leftover soap to the nun who looks after the displaced».
Run4unity also took place in Congo – in Kinshasa, Kipushi, and Lubumbashi, involving the schools connected to the Living Peace International, with a strong and convinced participation of many thousands children. In Goma, 38 young people of different Christian denominations visited the patients of the Regional Military Hospital. It was an intense moment, full of hope.
In the Ivory Coast, people have still in their memory the two armed conflicts that tore the nation apart in 2002 and in 2011 and many, due to the presidential elections, fear other disorders. The youth of the Focolare from Man rallied for peace, starting at 8.00 am from the parish church of Sainte Marie de Man-Doyagouiné.
«We are rallying to raise the awareness of our young people to love for peace. Living in peace and for peace is useful to everyone, young and old alike», explained Basile Fotso, one of the organizers.
All dressed in white, to symbolize peace, the protesters stopped the mobile squad of the gendarmerie and prayed for security in the Ivory Coast and around the world, and for all the armed forces and authorities in the country. They then continued their journey to the municipal cemetery, where they remembered the dead, the ancestors, and asked for their intercession for world peace. After that, the rally got to the Catholic Saint Martyr College of Uganda, where they prayed for the students and the teachers of the Ivory Coast, for them to adopt a peaceful behavior in schools.
They made another stop near the sacred forest of Gbêpleu where they prayed for the protection of the environment. The rally ended with a final prayer for world peace (“We pray that wherever there is war or conflict, people can come together to work for lasting peace”), at the Focolare Center, “Mariapolis Victoria”.
Several schools and associations linked to the Living Peace International Project met at the Creative International School in Giza to celebrate Run4Unity. “No One in Need” is the goal that brought together thousands of children and teenagers. For the “Zero Hunger” Operation, they collected 90 bags of food for the poorest families in their neighborhoods and distributed them on May 5, at the beginning of Ramadan.
Tuléar, the city crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn, on the South-West coast of the country, hosted the Genfest “Mihoatra ny sakana”, which in Malagasy language means, “Beyond all obstacles.” The event took place at the Tsianaloka College of the Sacred Heart.