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#EoC30 - From the history of these last 10 years, the Youth Project

Let's look back together at the stages of the EoC "Youth Project" from 2011 until today 

by Antonella Ferrucci

Over the last few months we have been wondering how to prepare for our 30th anniversary event which will be held live via streaming from Loppiano (Florence) on 29 May, from 1 to 6 pm. We thought of looking at our history, at least that of the last 10 years, in order to understand the journey that has led us to where we are now. Today we try to make a quick review of what has been achieved in the "Youth Project” where a lot of energy has been invested in recent years, with the creation of countless Summer Schools, Workshops and Schools all over the world.

Let's start from a consideration: if the EoC is still alive and after 30 years is looking to the future with confidence, it is because it bases its hope on an "anthropological bet": the certainty, supported by life experience, Messaggio Giovani Da San Paolo al mondothat every person carries within him or herself a profound vocation to communion, to love and to be loved. Chiara Lubich, in one of her first reflections shared on the EoC, wrote: "Human beings...made in the image of God who is Love, find their fulfilment in loving, in giving. This need is in the deepest recesses of their being whether they have faith or not.”

The "Youth Project" was born with the intention of "intercepting" in the young this profound call to communion. 30 years of EoC life have shown us that life, both individual and collective, flourishes only in communion and that it is only possible to achieve happiness within relationships marked by communion. This is the "precious pearl" that has characterised, with a thousand different facets and declinations, the many EoC Schools designed specifically for young people.

2011 was opened with the 1st EoC Summer School “Building the Dream” held in O'Higgins (Argentina) from January 17 to 21 with the participation of 30 young people from Mexico, Costa Rica, 120912 Summer Portogallo 33 rid 350Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina. The school literally passed the baton to the “Pan-African School of EoC” which was held in the very next days in Nairobi (Kenya) and which welcomed 110 young aspiring entrepreneurs from all over Africa (Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, Angola): that school gave - de facto - the start to the development of the Economy of Communion in the Black Continent. EoC entrepreneurs participated in the schools as teachers, and there were scholars arriving even from another continent just to be able to contribute.

2012 saw two international schools: a “Latin American EoC School” which took place from 12 to 15 July in Recife,  Brazil and the “1st European EoC Summer School” entitled: “Towards a Bridging Economy” which took place near Lisbon in mid-September. In the same year, countless EoC-inspired schools flourished in Italy, some of them diocesan, especially in Calabria and Puglia and the first “Workshop School” for young entrepreneurs at the Polo Lionello Bonfanti, followed by further editions in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Three more schools were held (almost simultaneously) in July: an 8-day workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs in Arny, near Paris, a two-week intensive course on the EoC and governance of communion in Kenya for the dissemination of EoC theory and practice in Africa, and the first EoC school in Chile, organised by the Chilean Catholic Universities "Silva Henriquez" and "de la Santissima Concepción", together with Sophia University Institute.

171110 11 Milano Costituente Giovani 13 rid 400In the years that followed, many other international EoC Summer Schools were organised in Madrid in 2013, in Puebla (Mexico) and Paris in 2014, in Prague and Vargem Grande Paulista (Brazil) in 2015, in Loppiano (Florence) in 2016 and in Holland in 2017, dedicated in particular to researchers: in the meantime, in fact, training for EoC entrepreneurship had taken another course, that of the Eoc-iin project... But we will tell you about this on a future occasion. In Italy, the years 2017 and 2018 were characterised by the development of the “Youth EoC Constituent” which arose from the need to generate "a passing of the baton" from a first generation of people involved in  150824 Praga EoC SS 01the EoC in Italy in various capacities, to new faces, energies and enthusiasm!

Looking at the photos of those schools again, we can recognise the faces of young people who up until today have been making a substantial contribution with their work for the International EoC, in local commissions or as entrepreneurs: we can therefore affirm that all that much of commitment has borne fruit. How the "Youth Project" has further evolved is the story of our recent past that speaks of “Prophetic Economy and “The Economy of Francesco”: an EoC that addresses not only the young but also the very young, and that reaches out to people with a "vocation to communion" to the ends of the earth.


Further information:

- Message of the Youth "From Sao Paolo to the world", San Paolo, 29 May 2011

Videos of lectures from some of the EoC schools mentioned above are available on this site: use the filter to refine selection

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