Pope Francis signs the “pact” with the youth: “a new economy is not utopia”
By Lucia Capuzzi
On the 24th of September 2022, Pope Francis went to Assisi to meet the young economists, entrepreneurs and changemakers of the Economy of Francesco coming from over 100 countries of the world for the third edition of the event, the first offline one.
Peace, cure, service, protection, friendship, alliance, acknowledgment, dignity, sharing, happiness. On Pope Francis’s invitation these are the ten words of the economy of life that the young economists, entrepreneurs and changemakers have decided to incarnate into reality.
This is not an utopia, “because we are already building it”, concludes the “pact” signed on the 24th of September in the Lirick theatre of Assisi by the fourteen year old Lilly Ralyn Satidtanasarn, in the name of all the participants of The Economy of Francesco (EoF), and from the same Pope Francis. A Thai adolescent and the bishop of Rome are the keepers of the this “jar of the future”. A paper amphora and ink in which the youth have collected their personal commitments, born and matured in the three-year session of online work.
“Along with the text of the Pact, we will entrust these to the earth like roots of the economy of tomorrow, in the rose garden of the Porziuncola, from where the children of Francesco will leave for the world” said Lourdes, one of the three translators who took turns on the stage on which there were about thirty peers, out of which the eight witnesses. Dreamers with feet, but well planted in the earth, capable of revolutionizing the world with “love, with ingenuity and with their hands”.
Like Facundo Pascutto, an Argentinian of Lomas de Zamora, enormous satellite city of Buenos Aires who, together with the Social Science faculties, transforms neighborhoods associations, trade unions, universities, cooperatives, community canteens, prison units and enterprises into “small Assisi’s”, as in places of encounter between different social actors.
Or Henry Totin of Benin who with the Javev association has made a weed – the water hyacinth or togblé – an economic resource for the citizens of the Ouémé valley. Or again Maryam, a women’s rights activist, escaped to the taleban Afghanistan thanks to the network of contacts activated by The Economy of Francesco.
It’s impossible to synthesize the kaleidoscope of stories and the story on which the twelve points of the pact are founded upon. Some newer ones like “the Farm of Francesco” invented by Mateusz Ciasnocha, farmer of north Poland, who right in the course of the process triggered by the Pope found a way to conjugate agriculture and justice. “How? Respecting the fields and the people who work them. Now we have created a new enterprise in Nigeria to sustain the family production of five villages in the Ibadan zone”, he narrated. Others instead are older. The Community of peace of San José de Apartadó is twenty-five years old. “It was founded on the 23rd of March 1997 when no one spoke of circular economy and sustainable cultivation. We ourselves didn’t know much about it. It all happened by ‘chiripa'”.
José Roviro repeated this word many times. “It means ‘Fortune’ or ‘providence’ he explains. Formed by a group of farmers displaced by the Colombian conflict, the Community chose to say no to violence. “As we had experimented it on our skin – added Sayda Arteaga – we decided not to inflict it on others.
Now the initiative – sustained by Columbia Operation – produces sustainable food thanks to a common work system. From the pioneer model, later, other courses radiate. “The neonate Foundation Rut will begin with the Community through the process of listening to elaborate a big digital platform (InterZone) on the violation of the human rights and the forms of nonviolent resistance”, underlined Annamaria De Paola and Giovanna Martelli.
Different big and small examples of another possible economy in which the youth of the Eof believe in and, some of them, “in particularly luminous mornings, have already caught a glimpse of the promised land”. How long will it take to reach it? Too long, claim the skeptics, often not really disinterested.
The population of the Eof doesn’t worry and now the journey continues with the opening of The Economy of Francesco 2.0. In this they are prophetic: they inhabit the night, like the sentinel of story of Isaia. They do not have answers for the anguished passersby who question how much time is left till sunrise, and still, they listen to them. They are women and men of the nocturnal dialogue. Because – it resonated with force form the stage of Assisi yesterday – “there is no dawn more beautiful than that that surprises us in the company of prophets”.
READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE PACT: https://francescoeconomy.org/it/il-patto-per-leconomia-di-papa-francesco-con-i-giovani-2/