Thursday 13 April 2017

Once more grim war clouds are gathering on the only earth we have. The senseless nuclear threat is coming back to frighten us. Not to mention the explosions in the churches during mass on Palm Sunday. Or the countless other attacks that every day kill innocent people of any religion, population or age. There are countless cries of pain and despair that rise from the world, almost lost in the immensity of the universe. What is the meaning of so much suffering?

And then there is the commitment of so many who would like to change the world, stop the cruelty and hatred, renew our planet and make it inhabitable and comfortable for everyone, even for those who will come after us, but whose efforts are rejected, just like the waves against the deafness opposed from sinful structures that affect our lives. How not to get discouraged in front of so much insensitivity and lack of humanity?

The Easter celebrations remind us of a God made man, who despite his innocence, accepts upon himself all the pain of mankind for the love of every being, and to redeem each of us to bring us back into the light and the fullness of the relationship with God, who created us out of love.

Our greeting from AMU to our supporters, friends and associates is that the joy of the resurrection of Christ brings peace in our hearts, in our families and communities, and above all gives us renewed strength and courage to generate peace and bring it everywhere, in the assurance that the best is still to come and that the future is better than any past.

Stefano Comazzi – President AMU

Wednesday 12 April 2017
RImPRESA project: a matter of trust

In March, the Project RImPRESA met new companies in the territories of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto and opened a new workforce in the territory of Abruzzo, in the provinces of Teramo and L’Aquila.

There are no facilities to accommodate livestock and feed, and a lack of equipment (destroyed during the earthquake): these are the main needs of small entrepreneurs encountered in the last months by RImPRESA operators in order to evaluate their inclusion in the project.
In addition to farmers, breeders and beekeepers, the demands of some craftsmen and traders have also been taken into account. In these cases the needs are more complex, especially if the activities have been moved to other areas: the equipment is lacking and the customer needs to be retrieved.
While the new proposals are being considered and the reports of companies in difficulty are increasing, 24 entrepreneurs, already part of the RImPRESA, have received the first aid and the first set of equipment and materials have been delivered. This has been possible due to the confidence in the project that has spread in the area.

An important step was the agreement with the Italian Agriculture Confederation of the province of L’Aquila-Teramo (CIA) for the selection of the companies affected in Abruzzo, while the agreement with the Civil Protection for Amatrice and Accumoli area was renewed.

Lastly, with the collaboration with the Casillo Foundation we could offer advice to the first group of entrepreneurs supported by the project at Arquata del Tronto, and the consequent establishment of an association of agricultural entrepreneurs (Temporary Association of Purpose “A437”). They will share the use of some of the assets donated by the project itself, starting with a van and a potato-digging machine that will be delivered at the end of the month.

Tuesday 11 April 2017
Dialogue labs in Egypt

Here’s a preview of an article published on AMU News n. 1/2017 describing the results achieved in Cairo by the Chance for Tomorrow project.

Recently a group of archaeologists found in Cairo a statue of about 8 meters high, which is considered to be the figure of Pharaoh Ramses II, who lived in the 13th century BC. The discovery was made on the site of Heliopolis, the city of the Sun God, now a poor neighbourhood called El Matariya, near a slum.
There are millennia of history in between the Pharaonic Egypt with the luxury and splendour of its time and the Egypt of today, with its economic and social crisis, alas common to many countries. This is a heritage story of all humanity but above all of those who live in those lands, in those cities that used to be golden and now are only dusty. The people are sometimes put down by all the difficult situations, but they are also ready to raise their heads and look at the future as soon as life offers them a chance.

“Chance for Tomorrow” is the project that the foundation Koz Kazah realizes in Cairo since 2016, with AMU’s collaboration and contribution. The previous project “Boys at Risk” was aimed at street children in the Shubra neighbourhood, at risk of dropping out from school or even of family abandonment. Over the years the activities have been extended first to girls, and then to their mothers. In early 2017, Koz Kazah opened a new office in Fagallah, another poor district in Cairo. (more…)

Monday 20 March 2017
Among the Rural Populations in Argentina

An article published on the international website of the Focolare Movement regards the TSNOA Project: Sustainable Tourism and Solidarity in the North West of Argentina. For more details, read the Project tab.

Sustainable tourism as a response to unemployment and the creation of new job opportunities. A strategy for the preservation of nature’s riches, as well as local development.

The solidarity tourism project that the Ministry of Tourism of Salta, has been promoting for six years supports small communities in the cities of Salta, Jujuy and Catamarca in the north of the country. It is enhancing the region’s natural resources in order to save the cultural richness and diversity that is linked to local history. At the same time, it offers professional training for the production of products related to the sectors of tourism, housing, transport and the sale of handicrafts and food products (jams, liqueurs, honey, and more). This has helped to avoid the migration of populations from rural areas to urban ones, preventing the increase of poverty areas in the big cities while protecting small communities that have a rich culture that is disappearing. (more…)

Friday 10 March 2017
Training courses to “elevate oneself”: the RAISE project

AMU Portugal’s initiative to combat unemployment has also received praise from public institutions.

Once upon a time there were the rich countries and the poor countries; the gap between North and South of the World was clear and the borders were well defined. The distinction today is not so clear and the economic crisis in Europe has brought out areas of poverty that were once kept under control.

In Portugal the unemployed population is approximately 12%; youth unemployment however hovers around 28%. To help reduce this problem, AMU Portugal launched in 2015 the RAISE project, in English it means “to lift”, but it is also an acronym for Alternative Response of Social Entrepreneurship and Integration.

The first phase of the activities ended with excellent results:
– 50 unemployed persons were accompanied through integration, training and internships processes;
– 20 people have found work;
– The collaboration with some local companies has begun;
– A family business was set up.

One of the strengths of the project, which was also appreciated by public institutions, is the personalized approach with each of the participants.  This allows each member to start the best path suited to his or her abilities and possibilities.

A specified area of the training covers the principles, values and methodology of Economy of Communion. This is an important aspect to avoid falling into the errors of a sick economy and for its own sake. Building a network of supportive relationships is the only real guarantee for the future.

For more details, read the Project sheet and the article on AMU News n. 2/2016 (Italian only).