The contemporary historical and geopolitical facts force us to bear witness to the spread of wars and mass migrations of refugees in the Mediterranean and through the Balkans. Civilian populations are victims of new suffering and destruction. For many, the insecurity and uncertainty of tomorrow risks obfuscating minds and leading to “armed relationships.” Peace is not only the absence of war but also justice, recognition of rights, solidarity relations, education and promotion, etc. It is opposition to every war, even preventive, and to every injustice and discrimination. Peace manifests itself and builds on a universal level, but also in everyday life and in the logic of small steps, starting with offering each person the possibility of developing their life project serenely, without distinction of gender, ethnicity, religion, or social status.
Dialogue, international law, the spirit of fairness, the power of compassion are the tools for the people harassed by suffering, material deprivations and misery to redeem themselves in an era of solidarity and justice. And these conditions depend on the young people who look to and build the future, a future of peace.
Today it is necessary to emerge from the spiral of war but also from the rituals of siding with the parties in conflict, to try to indicate a different perspective, capable of modifying our gaze towards a conflict. This reflection is part of a precise geographical context: the Mediterranean basin, this Mare Nostrum which is not only a geographical but also a cultural and political space in which to build a perspective of meeting and coexistence among peoples.
It is from here that we want to start building our House of Peace-Center for global education.
Since 2015 the Diocesan Caritas of Agrigento and the Mondoaltro Foundation, its operative arm, have started this experience in a structure entrusted to these same organizations by the Diocese – Casa San Luigi (Racalmuto) – in which numerous activities related to the Global vision of Caritas are concentrated: peace and justice education, promotion of the safeguard of creation, Mediterranean geopolitical dynamics, active citizenship, voluntary service, right to food, supportive economy, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, education to legality, ethical finance.
The production of informative materials useful for the promotion of these issues in the parishes, movements, associations and social media is also planned; the organization of sports activities for the promotion of cooperation and meeting; the management and coordination of emergency and solidarity activities that are developed both through projects with the poorest countries affected by particular emergencies, and through the training of operators working in the field of cooperation for development and who take care of animation and global education that enhance the various territorial networks; the promotion of Civil Service and European Voluntary Service projects guaranteeing acceptance, orientation, training, accompaniment; an international student internship with Italian and foreign universities to promote the creation of internships and / or training courses and to welcome students of different cultures and religious persuasions, from conflict areas; accompanying activities of the sister Churches in Tunisia and Albania.
The “House of Peace” is a place that the Diocesan Caritas of Agrigento and the Mondoaltro Foundation use to promote, organize, host meetings, seminars and activities for training and education on the themes of peace, justice and universal charity.
A space for welcoming, for dialogue and encounter: for children and young people, for associations and parish communities; for families or groups of families; for youth groups and school classes. This is done through non-formal laboratories that will combine the study and the experience of life in common, the contact with nature that the spaces and the structure of the “San Luigi” Center allow, the comparison with the “different” and the commitment to volunteering. Perhaps it is a dream too great, superior to our strength… but we believe in the power of dreams, especially if dreamed together with other companions on our journey.