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The seventh edition of the LoppianoLab, which will take place from 30th September to 2nd October, has as its main theme “The poverty of wealth and the richness of poverty”, so it will not be easy to choose between the many events that await us. The Loppiano International Centre, the Lionello Bonfanti Centre, the Sophia University Institute and Città Nuova Editrice promote the event in order to “give a voice to those – active citizens, entrepreneurs, communicators, young people, educators – who are trying to build a better Italy.”
The topic chosen for this edition “is focused on a radical change of perspective: that of poverty…”. LoppianoLab will be “a shared space to see and offer many forms of richness which poverty is often the bearer.”

Within this framework, we announce two AMU events: a seminar and a workshop. See you there!

Friday 30/09/16 h.15.30-17.30
Seminar: Making System Beyond Hospitality.
Young people, families and companies, new pathways to integration

There are existential outer edges that constantly challenge every person of good will. AMU, AFN Onlus, and the Fo.Co. Cooperative, with the project “Making System Besides Hospitality”, turn their attention to unaccompanied minors, arrived in Sicily with the illegal marine landings, and to Italian young people with difficult backgrounds. The purpose of the project is to create a community social fabric that can support them, building a welcoming and stimulating network capable of providing relational and working references that give them a possibility of integration and independence. The Economy of Communion model and the enhancement of the social fabric are essential in this respect.
Speakers: Flavia Cerino – Coordinator of the project’s activities in Sicily, Francesco Tortorella from the AMU projects area; Paola Iacovone from the AFN Onlus projects area e Salvatore Brullo from the Fo.Co. Cooperativa

Saturday 1/10/16 h. 9.30-11.30
Workshop. Poverty: Is it a question of style?
Daily choices for a more equitable world

It will be a moment of reflection and group activity where participants will stimulate their citizenship by generating small daily practical gestures.

We orient ourselves in the modern world towards greater social justice, respect for human rights and equitable distribution of resources, through the exercise of moderation as a lifestyle, capable of building a healthier relationship with ourselves, with things and with other people.
(By Anna Marenchino and Cecilia Landucci, AMU’s referents for Development Education)


The Centre “Angle of Light” (in Spanish Rincón de Luz) located in Cochabamba Area 5, known for the high rates of poverty and crime, is almost an oasis in the desert. Here, from 2012, AMU has implemented the project “Education and work“.

Judging by the results achieved it is a real oasis, and not just an illusion. Francesco Marini of our AMU project area office, has anticipated for us some news, directly from Cochabamba, where he went for the final evaluation of the project.

«Thanks to this project, in partnership with the UNISOL Foundation and the AFN Association, the Centre is now a concrete reality that is a reference point for families of one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. It greets every day 60 children and young people providing them a meal, school integration services and various training activities

As always, the best result is the change that occurs in people’s lives and, consequently, in the life of the community… (more…)


It’s been about two months since a disastrous earthquake hit Ecuador.

The emergency coordination of the Focolare Movement immediately launched a fundraising campaign, in order to meet the demands placed on the basic necessities, and has set up a working group coordinated by AMU and AFNonlus.

The solidarity of the people from all over the world, has been quick to respond and we are now able to send the first funds for food, health and psychological assistance to the Ecuadorian population. The aid will flow primarily to support families in the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, mostly affected by the earthquake.

The support activities in this first phase will last six months (June to November) and during this period, in partnership with the local NGO FEPP (Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio), we will study the possibility of reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and the continuation of local production activities.

The study of the coming of reconstruction works and rehabilitation will take place in collaboration with the international network of architecture “Arquitecturalimite”, specialized in design services in a socio-economic exclusion context.
From the coming 9th to 13th November, simultaneously with a peace school for young people, a series of architectural workshop will take place in Quito concerning its possible interventions of the post-earthquake reconstruction.


After the devastation caused by the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, a scholarship program was created to strengthen, in the medium and long term, the capacity of families to cope with economic difficulties.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recent history, has hit Micronesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and southern China. In the Philippines occurred the most severe damage: 7,000 people killed and more than one million homes damaged or destroyed.

With the donations received from all over the world, even AMU could help to address some immediate needs, thanks to the local presence of the Focolare Movement.

At the same time, we tried to identify projects that could make the population less vulnerable to natural disasters, so frequent in this area of the world.

After a field trip in the Philippines, our attention focused on the island of Leyte, namely the city of Tacloban, one of the areas mostly affected by the typhoon. We decided to support the proposal from the Leyte Normal University to facilitate the access to education of young underprivileged people: the sons and daughters of farmers, sellers or unskilled workers. With access to quality education, these young people will have a positive impact on the economy of their families. (more…)


The report on the activities of 2015, which was presented at the recent annual meeting of AMU, illustrates the main projects and activities. Let’s start with the development projects: cooperation initiatives that have a particularly significant social impact on the territory.

During 2015 AMU has been engaged in 10 multi-year projects: 4 projects in sub-Saharan Africa, 4 in Latin America, 1 in the Middle East and 1 in Italy.” (From the report of the President)

Specifically :

In Africa:
–          The “Fraternity with Africa” project, started in 2006 and is still ongoing, it aims to give young sub-Saharan Africans a proper academic and professional training, through the provision of scholarships. In 2015 were granted 15 new grants.
–          In May 2015 ended the project “New wiring” in Man, Ivory Coast, previously started in 2011. The electrical system of the “Mariapolis Victoria” (a Focolare little town) has been redone to improve the performance of the local medical clinic and to have adequate access to the Internet, also needed for training activities.
–          In July 2015 started the project Micro-credit and strengthening of the rural cooperative system in Ruyigi“, Burundi, continuing actions previously implemented by the Burundian CASOBU on the territory.
–          In the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Goma (North Kivu) the preliminary stages of the project “Kivu Solidaire” started, aiming to contribute to the promotion of a culture of solidarity and peaceful coexistence among the peoples of the countries of the Great Lakes.

In Latin America:
–          The project “Education and work in Cochabamba” ended in Bolivia in 2015 with 450 direct beneficiaries and 1,500 indirect beneficiaries.
–          The project “Strengthening of the productive activities with the spirit of communion” in the settlement Zumbi dos Palmares (Branquinha, Brazil) reached its conclusion as well. About 250 people from the community have benefited from this project.
–          In Peru it is still under way the project “A school in the Andes“, to facilitate the access to education of children and young people of Bolívar. On 15th March 2015, the new school was inaugurated.
–          In Argentina started the project “Sustainable and Inclusive tourism“, in the North West of the country, in an area of high social vulnerability, aiming to activate or revive small tourism, craft and agricultural activities.

In the Middle East:
–          As a continuation of previous interventions in the Shubra district of Cairo, Egypt, in 2015 we have worked for the start-up of the new “Chance for Tomorrow” project formally started on 1st January 2016, with the aim of strengthening Egyptian civil society so as to encourage especially the leadership of women, girls and boys, and their active participation in public life.

In Europe:
–          At the beginning of 2016 also the project Making system beyond hospitality” started in Italy, to promote the socio-professional integration of young Italian and foreign people in difficulty, aged between 16 and 18 years.

In this quick overview it was impossible to mention the number of partners and co-sponsors of the individual activities, nor the local counterparts. You may find all the additional information in each individual project sheets.

In the next article we will continue summing up AMU’s 2015 interventions by talking about the micro-actions that have been carried out: specific actions that contribute to solve specific problems of families, groups and communities in a significant way. (more…)