Ubuntu, “I am because we are”

6 March 2013


A Youth for a United World project: ‘Sharing with Africa’ and discovering the gift that the African continent is for the whole world.

The Youth for a United World have launched their ‘Sharing with Africa’ project that focuses on making known the gift that this continent is for the world, with its peculiarities and traditions.

Already in 2011 some 200 youth from several African countries had met to deeply examine the project of achieving true brotherhood. This project has been going ahead since the 1960’s in Fontem, Cameroon to see how they could also contribute to universal brotherhood. It was from here that ‘Sharing with Africa’ begun with the goal of making a contribution to forming a new culture that is open to the building of a more united world by promoting the values that have created and shaped African society.

The goal of the project is to create a space for communion not only among youth who live on the African continent but for youth of the whole world, and to favour cultural exchange, sharing of talents, life experiences and life challenges, through concrete projects and activities.

The first stage of the project will take place in Nairobi, Kenya at the School of Enculturation. The main topic will be: “The Ubuntu vision of the human person”: “I am what I am because we all are.”

Ubuntu philosophy presents a unifying vision of the world which is expressed in the Zulu proverb: “Ununtu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” (A person is a person because of other people). This life concept is found at the basis of all African society, and it implies respect, sharing, trust, altruism and cooperation. It is a “communional” idea of the human person that identifies a person as someone in relation to his or her relations with others. A person with an Ubuntu ethic is open, available to others, supportive, aware of belonging to a greater whole. Speaking in Ubuntu terms involves a stronger sense of unity in social relations, in order to be available and willing to meet differences in the humanity of the other, as one’s own humanity is enriched: “I am what I am because we all are.”

The Sharing with Africa project also gives participants in the School of Enculturation the opportunity to be involved in several social activities together with the Youth for a United World in Kenya. Some of the activities include being the guests of the Samburu Tribe, but also working for children living in a slum in Nairobi; others in a Nutrition Centre on the outskirts of the vast city.

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