United World Week 2013: Be the Bridge


At Jerusalem in the name of universal brotherhood

120 young people from 20 different countries and representing tens of thousands of others from all over the world will be in Jerusalem from April 24 to May 2 to live together  the event that will conclude the Year of the Genfest.  They have  chosen theHoly Land,  a country of contrasts and divisions but an essential hub for a future of peace,  where they want to “be bridges” of  fraternity.

The programme includes academic and interreligious events.   Very significant ones are the “Forum on Universal Brotherhood”  to be held atBethlehemUniversity, the meeting with Vera Baboun,  and the interreligious symposium atJerusalem, where Rabbi Ron Kronish, director of ICCI  will  participate.

These young people will also have the  opportunity to  meet the local people and get to know about their everyday life;  amongst these locals there will be  members of the Focolare  Movement in this region.    Among the various activities taking place during these days, there are workshops for school children  that come from Jewish and Palestinian towns. These workshops are being organised by the musical groups  Gen Rosso and Gen Verde and the highlight of this activity will be the two concerts performed.

On May 1 there will be a flashmob and  a march for  peace inJerusalem. Thousands of youth  from all over the world will participate in the concluding programme through direct streaming. Direct link-ups with Loppiano (FI), Mumbai andBudapestare planned as part of this programme.

United World Week, the annual event organised  by the youth of the Focolare Movement since 1996 will start from here.  This is the tip of the iceberg of a commitment to promote unity and peace at all levels. So, “let us be ready” in line with the United World Project,   launched  precisely at Genfest 2012.

This broad commitment wants to be an answer to Pope Francis’ appeal to youth: “Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope” and it is a step towards World Youth Day 2013 at Rio di Janeiro.