It is unrealistic to dream of and commit to a United World? And what is it really a United World? These are questions that the AMU founders asked themselves more than thirty years ago, when the world was a completely different place. Today we have the same dream—unity—a goal we set to overcome injustice and imbalance among nations, people, social classes. These issues in turn create the marginalisation and isolation we see in what pope Francis calls the outskirts. But at a deeper level this “Action”, this commitment, comes from a spiritual root connected to the Gospel and Jesus Christ: he came down to Earth and gave his own life to unite us with the Father and create unity among us all. Chiara Lubich—founder of the Focolare Movement by which AMU is inspired—translated the idea of unity into a lifestyle, to serve each human being, our society and institutions. With such a style in mind, we approach every person with sensitivity and attention, and—first and foremost—we listen to and learn from them as “fellow travellers”.

The very idea of universal friendship and brotherhood comes from such an approach, as an embrace to everyone. This ideal makes us all members of the large human family, regardless of our persuasion, walk of life, origins, etc.

As a consequence we see that everybody has skills and a huge potential, and at the same time brings to the table his or her needs that we want to satisfy to make her a fulfilled person who can offer her contribution to the human and social development of the society.

We consider human development as a path of growth, an integral, complete growth that is complete only when every dimension of the human being is fulfilled: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. Such a mutual gift is the key to the process of development, where everybody receives what she needs and at the same time gives what she has: we are not donors and beneficiaries, but brothers and sisters connected by our universal friendship and brotherhood.

To sum up, we believe in the development of communion among all the people.

The outskirts, which are no longer an issue pertaining to specific areas of the world, but that have grown everywhere even in our nations, keep touching our conscience and eliciting creative, innovative, and prophetic answers, fit for our times.

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