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“Cooperation and Development – stories from the world”. This is the title chosen for this issue of the magazine, the last one of the year. Here’s a preview.

There is a common element in all the articles of the latest AMU News: the stories of the people we met on our projects. Lives of common women and men, one might say, but certainly meaningful lives and multipliers of hope.

Like Norma, artisan teacher who in Argentina participates in the sustainable tourism program, or Abd El Aziz, a twelve-year-old Egyptian who has restored his confidence thanks to the animators of the Chance for Tomorrow project. Fernando and Fernanda found themselves both unemployed and without means to support the family: theirs is a story of redemption, sought with determination, supported by the Raise project of AMU Portugal. Then there are the young people of the “Making System” project, and each of them has his/her own story and difficult past, and many others: Shayeste and Mohammed, Luciana, Maria. They are all protagonists of a type of development focused on the person and his/her community.

Beside these recent stories, AMU News also gives us some stories of the years gone by, in the special insert dedicated to AMU’s 30 years: stories that, retraced at a distance, show just how personal choices can, over time, affect the life of entire communities.

Facing new challenges with hope,” headlines Stefano Comazzi’s editorial. The stories that we collected are like lights that instil courage and transform our hope in the solid knowledge that a better world is possible.

If you are receiving AMU News by mail you may have to wait another few days, but in the meantime you can download the digital version (at the moment only available in Italian) from this link >>>

 

How to multiply and extend the value of our wishes?

For many it is now an established occasion, especially at Christmas: the spirit of this event leads us to share something of us with the most disadvantaged people from every part of the world, not only through our own individual contributions but by involving friends and relatives. How? Here are some ideas.

ORGANISE A CHARITY DINNER. This is what our friends from the province of Frosinone (near Rome) are doing, for example, by preparing a dinner in support of Syrian families displaced by the war. “The pain – they say – does not differentiate between Italian and foreigner, but unites us as brothers of one family.” The Charity Dinner is in Sora on Friday, December 16th 2016 at 20.00.

OFFER YOUR OWN TALENTS. Like Vincenzo Lamagna, an Italian composer who lives and works in London. He wanted to donate his music to help Amatrice and the people affected by the recent earthquakes in central Italy. Vincenzo gives the opportunity to buy his single (Requiem for Amatrice) for 1£. All information at this link: https://requiemforamatrice.bandcamp.com/track/requiem

Have you ever thought of simply giving somebody a charitable donation instead of a present? The donation to a project will be in his or her name.
Select a project and give your contribution to a special person! With a single gesture you sent greetings to your friend, and together you will have given your best wishes to other people further away.

Have you got more ideas to share, or do you want a hand to achieve a solidarity event? Contact our office!
For more information: Giuliana Sampugnaro
sostenitori@amu-it.eu  tel (39) 06-94792170

 

Nest project, new developments…previously unimaginable

In Pakistan the activities of the Nest Centre continue apace, born 25 years ago in Karachi to meet the needs of the Bagri ethnic population: a strongly discriminated Hindu caste, who live in shacks on the edge of the city. Over the years the work of the Centre has focused on two essential aspects of social inclusion: education and assistance in obtaining identity documents.

In the school year 2015-2016 a total of 115 girls and boys have in many ways benefited from the centre’s services.

The Centre was set up alongside a Bagri camp but then, in 2014, in just one night the area in which they were allocated was completely cleared out; the community was forced to split into different areas of the city. A group of families has settled on a plot opposite the university, too far from the centre to be able to reach it daily. For the Bagri students the possibility of accessing education seemed extremely compromised. Instead precisely this new location has opened an unthought-of opportunity: some of the teaching students from the university have noticed the shacks and began to visit the families, with the idea of offering training to the kids, doing at the same time teaching practice in a difficult context. This activity started very informally, but has stabilized over time and today the students do after class activities every afternoon for a group of about 30 children in a small shack that students themselves have built. It is an important contribution considering that many of these kids have no other learning opportunities.

«It is above all a beautiful experience of fraternitysaid Maria J., director of the centre – which acquires special value because all the university students are Muslims and, in the local culture, relations between Hindus and Muslims are rare. Students meet weekly with the teachers of the Nest Centre to organise and coordinate activities. Thanks to them we have expanded our range and we can implement our project in more districts.»

Francesco Marini (AMU News n. 2/2016) (more…)

 


The situation in Syria told by Pascal Bedros

Despite five years of uninterrupted war we continue to believe that peace is possible.

We are safe once again“. These words have come to me from Bassam and Maral, responsible for the school for deaf-mute children in Aleppo. The clashes between the government and the Islamists have intensified and almost all districts have been bombarded. A bomb fell in front of the school, but fortunately there were no classes at that time. However, people close to the school have been hit, such as the cousin of a teacher that was wounded in the legs. These are the reports that we receive daily, along with the testimonies of many who want to stay close to those who are suffering.

Thanks to the aid that we receive we can meet many needs. Like in Kafarbo for example, near Hama, together with Father Samir and a group of volunteers, we accompany 20 cancer patients who would not have access to care. In Damascus as well, we continue to support the displaced families trying to bring, in addition to the material aid, the warmth of the love of perhaps unknown brothers. A love that makes us all hope that peace is possible and it is a reality that goes on, in silence, and one day will have the last word.

(from AMU News n. 2/2016)

 


The 2016 Immigration Statistics Dossier, realized by the Study and Research Centre IDOS, was presented in Rome on 27 October.

Researchers and experts of migration from all over Italy have contributed to the report, with the aim of proposing an instrument of dissemination and analysis of key statistical data on the migration phenomenon in Italy and Europe. Thus encouraging an appropriate level of awareness of migration by public opinion, still exposed to the risk of complete exclusion.

The initial section is dedicated to the international and European dimension of the phenomenon: migrants in the world have increased further, rising to 244 million, which have moved voluntarily (mostly for work and family) or not. Although the attention to the integration of economic migrants remains paramount, ample space is reserved for the consistent arrival of forced migrants, who in 2015 were 65.3 million between asylum seekers and refugees, a never previously reached peak.

The chapter on Italian emigration confirms the global nature of the phenomenon: they are 5 million foreign residents in the country and an equal number Italians living abroad. (more…)