“Youth for Peace” is a movement of teens and young people tied to the Community of Sant’Egidio. In many Italian cities and throughout the world they help, in concrete ways, the poor. They also foster a culture of friendship and solidarity.
Young people against the exclusions of children, older people and homeless
The young people from Youth for Peace refuse any form of social exclusion: they dream a city where no one is forgotten or left alone. They organise the “School of Peace”, a free afterschool programme where children learn to study and play together.
They become friends of the elderly in the care homes to fight loneliness, sharing a little bit of their time to create parties or go for a visit. It is an alliance between young and old, that can start even from the years of middle school.
The young people from Youth for Peace also meet anyone living in the streets, to bring to them the basic necessities and to protect them: anyone who remembers their name (just like a friend) and who listens can save the life of who is living in the streets.
The culture of peace: musical contest and the blog
The young people from Youth for Peace promote a culture shift from “I don’t care” to “I am concerned and care”. They are youngsters from secondary school and university. They do not feel like they are too insignificant to realise change in the world. They gather together through the language of music during the contest Play Music Stop Violence.
They read up about the world, reflect together and share their thoughts online. The blog of the Youth for Peace has become a space to talk about many themes, more or less discussed in the media, but all decisive for our future (poverty, wars, the amazing chance that everyone has to help others).
Proposals for Schools
Youth for Peace members involve schools of any grade and kind in this proposition of active solidarity. In different secondary schools there are also active courses alternating school and work. The volunteers are available to talk about their experiences and invite to participate many to talk about different themes, aided by testimonies and books. They organise meetings in the schools on diverse topics such as: volunteering with children, elderly and homeless; the abolition of the death penalty; programmes of nutrition and care of AIDS in Africa; peace in Mozambique; remembrance of the Holocaust; welcoming refugees through humanitarian corridors.
Throughout the years these meetings have also been hosted by many universities, local libraries and public spaces.
After these meetings often, students are invited to participate as protagonists of an inclusive message through new initiatives. They also organise: collections of basic necessities for the poor; collections of toys; parties in the peripheries; meetings; concerts and art shows.