Thursday 14 January 2016
Happy 30th birthday AMU!

The photos in black and white of that first day of life make the times of the foundation look so far away. But the dream, the enthusiasm and the commitment have always remained the same as always. Today we share with all our friends the message that the President of AMU sent to the shareholders. Happy feast to all!

Today AMU turns 30!!!
This is an important milestone for our association, achieving it thanks to the contribution and the life of each one of us.
How can we not thank God for all the good that has been done in recent years, helping us achieve our greatest dream?
Thirty years ago, in the midst of the Cold War, 34 “visionaries” wanted to formalize their commitment to a United World. Today, in a globalization framework, every one of us still fantasises the same dream, sure that those who came before us continue to support us in this effort.

Best wishes to everyone, we hope this dream becomes reality!

Monday 11 January 2016
(Italiano) Pakistan. Baghwanti e l’amore che ritorna

A story of social redemption that starts at the Nest Centre in Pakistan

A morning of three years ago a girl arrives at our doorstep, unexpected. She has an unusual request: she wants to help out to repay what she received when she was little.

We would say a normal act of kindness, of ordinary reciprocity that leads us to love who has loved us or to return the favours received. But in the difficult context in which we find ourselves, focused on daily survival, it has never happened before.

Baghwanti, the name of the girl, is 13 years old. When she was little she came to the Nest Centre for a while. She learnt how to read, and a bit to count as well. Then she had to stop to help the family: she is in fact the eldest of 11 children. (more…)

Thursday 17 December 2015


More testimonials from our project in Cairo “Woman, teacher of peace”. The protagonists of this project talk about their extraordinary experience that has just ended and that now will continue onto a new project: “Chance for Tomorrow”

An animator working on an activity of the project tells us: «One of my jobs during the school camps is to look after the “difficult” teenagers. For many of them it was the first time. The first morning one of them did not want to have breakfast because he said he was full. Same thing at lunch and dinner. I attempted various times to understand the reason why, without success. So then I told him that if he didn’t eat I wouldn’t eat either. Surprised and touched by my offer, the boy started to explain the reasons that stopped him from eating: “I don’t eat food cooked by Christians”. I listened to him with respect, even if it seemed a very extreme thought, and then I accompanied in a shop nearby, and bought him food, fruit juice and milk. The next morning, smiling from afar and coming up to me he says: “I have good news for you: today I will eat with you”. I assured him that we could have gone to the shop and buy food. “No” he told me “I will eat what you will eat”, and straight he run away to eat with the others».

Zaher, another animator tells: «I found myself with a group of Muslim veiled women, very simple people. I thought that they came to us to learn how to develop and improve the quality of their life, but instead I found that I was the one learning from them: their strong, true and honest will to help people in more need touched me profoundly, and without realising, I found myself doing something that I have never done in my life, as a man: laying out the sheets on the terrace. It was a lesson that I will never forget».

Tuesday 15 December 2015
Burundi. Community microcredit and strengthening of the cooperative system

In June 2015 a new project has began in the Ruyigi province, co-financed by Friuli venezia Giulia Region and supported by our friends in the AMU office in Trieste. An article by Jérôme Nibaruta of CASOBU, our counterparty in Burundi.

The project follows a prior one which finished at the end of 2013. After the end of the previous project we continued to stay in contact with some beneficiaries and we witnessed that the project has indeed contributed to improve their financial situation, especially in the agricultural sector. “This year we have had a good yield from our crop due to the fact that we were able to buy without difficulties seeds and organic fertilizer”, a beneficiary has told us. And then a few days ago Joel Butoyi, another beneficiary from the district of Butezi, has surprised us saying: “The project of Community Microcredit has come the reunite the hearts of those who were lost. Now we can all work for the interest of each other, whereas before we worked just for ourselves.”

Let’s go back to June of the current year. One year after the suspension of the activities we realized that not only the project has never really ended, but it also expanded to new beneficiaries that were willing to join as well. “In fact, the operators present on the territory with me, explains Augustin Ndikumama, continued to stay in contact with the beneficiaries and it was natural to continue to be at their service.”

Assuredly the project has started again in Ruyigi with a new energy, and a spirit of mutuality from the beneficiaries that requires all of our attention. First of all, we contacted the 30 saving and credit group from the previous project. Surprisingly, we found 40 groups instead of 30. What has happened? The members of the groups had received interest from other people willing to join. They responded in their own way: those more familiar with the procedures provided the basic notions; some groups split up so that in each group there were people more expert together with the new beneficiaries. They shared the material that they had received beforehand. This spontaneous sharing has to be supported in order to give to the new groups a solid and correct training, necessary for the good functioning of the group itself and to avoid negative effects on the pre-existing ones. A new challenge attends us and a new approach is vital to valorise at best the enormous availability of the beneficiaries.

Source: AMU News n. 3/2015


Friday 20 March 2015

News from Kiribati after the violent cyclone that struck the South Pacific last Saturday

The road that links the capital and the port to the rest of the island of Tarawa is destroyed, writes Mary Cass from Australia. The embankments that protected the beaches by the tides have collapsed and many traditional houses have been washed away.

The Cyclone Pam, one of the most violent recorded in the South Pacific, has hit the islands of Vanuatu, Kiribati and Solomon in particular, with high waves, strengthened further by 250 kilometres per hour winds.

Drinking water and food are becoming scarce. The Red Cross and UNICEF are assessing the damage in other islands, where the population is evacuating from the most affected areas.

We heard from the local community of the Focolare Movement, continues Mary Cass. Everyone is doing well and is engaged in the work of reconstruction and food and water supply for households in the village of Buota (where the AMU project is ongoing). Currently the village is inaccessible: the road and the bridge connecting it to the rest of Tarawa are destroyed. They hope to be able to meet soon to strengthen their spirit of unity in this difficult time.
“Things are getting back to normal – writes one of them – the waves have returned to smile. We are happy that we are all well. ”

However, even if the spirit and dignity of the inhabitants of Tarawa are admirable, the situation is still very serious and deserves our full attention: the drinking water is in short supply because many wells and reservoirs have been contaminated by sea water, due the flooding. Even food is in short supply after the destruction of crops and the interruption of the lines of communication; there is no fuel, 80% of the traditional houses have been destroyed … For our part we will do everything possible to be close to the population the Kiribati.