It ended on Sunday 24 August, with the return to Italy of 7 young volunteers, the field of training and volunteering in Tunisia “Beyond the Sea” organized by Caritas Agrigento. Now in its third consecutive year, the camp provided an opportunity for participants to learn about the complex situation in North Africa, but also to witness the closeness of the Church to the Church of Agrigento Tunisia, linked only by a geographical proximity to a pastoral communion that It lasts for several years at the behest of Archbishop. Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento and President of the Episcopal Commission for Migration of the Italian Episcopal Conference and Archbishop of Tunis Mons. Ilario Antoniazzi.
“In this time of deep global crisis – said the director of the diocesan Caritas of Agrigento Valerio Landri – when the news from Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Ukraine shock us even for the cruelty of the persecution of Christians and the minorities, it was important to consolidate, through this process of support, closeness and sharing with the Church of Tunisia, support to a reality characterized by the difficulties of living in a country where Christians are a minority. ”
Young volunteers, in fact, had the opportunity to meet both Mons. Ilario Antoniazzi and director of the national Caritas of Tunisia, that to hear the testimonies of various religious working in the country the difficulties of this moment in history, but also the many stories positive integration and intercultural and interreligious dialogue. Tunisia, in addition to being the country of emigration to Italy and Europe is also the country of immigration which welcomes the hopes of many young Christians sub-Saharan Africa.
During the 14 days of field young volunteers have been engaged in training activities on the themes of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, cooperation and geopolitics and in activities to support the study and the right to play facing 50 school children of Sousse direct the Egyptian Sisters and visited for all children from Tunisian Muslims.
“This aspect – said Father Jawad Alamat director of school pastoral – emphasizes how important and recognized, also by Muslims, the educational role of the Catholic Church in Tunisia. Our schools, attended by all children of Muslim families, allow us to meet so many people and to witness, through our work, the message of love, acceptance and tolerance of the Gospel. ”
To young Italians, in the middle of the field, has joined a group of young French university pastoral who collaborated in the realization of service and training, encouraging, therefore, a process of mutual understanding between the three Mediterranean countries: Italy, France, Tunisia.
The camp also provided an opportunity to learn two youth associations Tunisian born in the aftermath of the Arab Spring of 2011: “Rose de l’esproir” Tunis and “Arselan” of Sousse. The meetings with the two organizations, after a phase of mutual understanding, they focus on the future possibilities of collaboration and cooperation is linked to the support of orphans and poverty present in Tunis and Sousse, but also to intercultural dialogue aimed at creating pathways Educational peace, increasingly necessary for young people in Mediterranean countries marked so often by fundamentalism and racism.
The project “Beyond the Sea” is sponsored by the diocesan Caritas of Agrigento, the office for pastoral charity Archdiocese of Agrigento, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Tunis and the Foundation Mondoaltro (operational arm Caritas).