United World Project


We commit ourselves!

5 January 2023   |   , ,
By Sara Felici

Testimonies and results of the pilot year of the Giving to Safeguard the Environment Network project, through which AFN (Azione Famiglie Nuove Onlus) promoted the implementation of environmental activities in India, Kenya, Burundi and Brazil.

Integral ecology, relation and culture of giving. These are the keywords of “Giving to Safeguard the Environment in a Network” (GTSEN), a project born in 2008 in Palermo that educates to energy saving to safeguard the environment, on the initiative of the chemistry professor, Elena Pace and by a group of teachers willing to spread the connection between human beings and nature. From 2019 the project takes the form of an institutional network Agreement between Italian schools. In the 2021/2022 academic year, this is promoted by the New Paths for a United World APS Association and sees a new development, involving 39 institutions, out of which 14 are in Italy and the remaining in Africa, South America and Asia, for a total of 8,000 students between the ages of 11 to 18 years.

The project aims to value the small actions that, repeated by many, generate big changes. All the students, by signing the “Energy Saving Pact”, have committed themselves to saving actions in 5 areas: electricity; water; gas; recycling; reducing food waste. For each act of saving in one of these areas, a lump-sum value of 10 cents was awarded, acknowledged by parents or other sponsors of students. This capitalized saving has been destined to sustain the projects in contexts of poverty and environmental degradation as the consequence of climate change.

AFN, sensible to the ecological themes in the optic to achieve the goals of the 2030 United Nations calendar, has promoted to the GTSEN network schools four different actions with environmental backgrounds carried out in the projects India, Kenya, Brazil and Burundi. The student’s commitment has allowed the funding of the entire activity in Kenya and part of the activity in India and Burundi. Their contributions, from a local initiative, have taken a global dimension and permitted them to experiment the value of “giving” for a sustainable global development.

On the 13th of May of last year, the end-of-year event was held in the main hall of the Sapienza – University of Rome, with the participation of over 500 youth, under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Education (School Regeneration Program), of the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, of the Italian Space Agency and of the municipality of Rome II. A student narrates: “All this, for us, is a commitment, but we do it for the good of our planet and thus also for us. Then, also from the fact that we are not alone, other youth do their best, in other parts of the world, to help the people greatly affected by the environmental damages for which our lifestyle is primarily responsible.” There was also an online connection with Rani, collaborator of the AFN project India Udisha, who illustrated the environmental activities carried out in the project and encouraged to “have a special love for our Mother Earth; this change can occur only if we put this into practice as the model of change for our society. They can seem small drops in the ocean, but many droplets make an ocean.”

In the 2022/2023 academic year, we intend to consolidate the results obtained because, as another student says: “we are the ones who will live the earth in the years to come, we cannot not commit ourselves. If every one of us would stop, it would be as though this project never existed”. The next goal is to involve a higher number of institutions and increase exchanges with countries experiencing particular socio-environmental problems, facilitating exchanges between students from different parts of the world. Even AFN intends to renew their collaboration with GTSEN to continue promoting the 4 projects to encourage the building of reciprocal relations amongst youth of different cultures and give them tangible evidence of the change generated by their actions.

The schools or other groups interested in the GTSEN can send an email to this address: dpsar2019@gmail.com



The UDISHA project, initiated in 1997, is carried out by the Focolare Society in Goregaon, a suburb on the outskirts of Mumbai. 118 children aged from 6 to 15 years are cared for in the community center of UDISHA, where 6 teachers and some volunteers carry out: reinforcement classes for primary and secondary school children; early medical care; play-recreational activities; educational programs for parents; professional counseling. In the socio environmental field, the project conducts various saving and awareness activities for 50 children and adolescents like monthly workshops on the good ecological practices and planting of trees. Initiatives like segregating waste aim to actively involve families, so as to generate the adoption of these good practices in the different slums.


This is organized by the AFAGO-SP ONG in a community center frequented by 248 families and 280 children and adolescents (6 – 18 years) in the favela of the same name located in the city of São Paulo. There are various workshops, professional courses for the youth and parents, active citizenship promotion workshop, care of the community garden. The socio environmental project “Drop of Life” involves 60 children in art and dialogue workshops, in which they can explore the methods to avoid waste and disease caused by water pollution. The children are encouraged to find alternative and innovative solutions to the problems illustrated, experimenting their role as citizens aware and responsible in relation to the use of the water resources.


Born in 2005 in the slum of the same name on the outskirts of Nairobi, this project is carried out in the Kariobangi parish. The children do some preschool activities in preparation for the elementary school to then be admitted to higher classes in private and public schools. The socio environmental project has the aim to establish a garden in the school. Through the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, 50 children between the ages of 4 to 9 years receive lessons on the cure of the earth, on food wastage and on the practice of a proper hygiene. In collaboration with the municipality, community actions like cleaning of the neighborhood and of raising awareness on the proper disposal of waste campaigns are promoted.


Taken forward by the “CASOBU” ONG in the Chiara Luce community center, this is carried out in the neighborhood of Kinama, north of the capital of Burundi, Bujumbura. As of today, the center accommodates around 165 minors in school reinforcement classes and 50 families outside the center with food, clothing and medical care. In the socio environmental field a workshop on recycling was initiated in which the children experiment how, with a little creativity and effort, plastic can be utilized again and of how it can become a useful and fun object. Along with the educators, 170 children conduct educational outings to collect abandoned plastic objects around the Center. Through art, the collected items are transformed into decorative objects, mats and ropes, belts, and toys. Through this activity, the entire community is encouraged to keep the surrounding area litter-free and safe for children.