“The human factor has been at the forefront for 50 years

Born May 24, 1972, by the intuition of Don Carlo Muratore, theOpam is the first Italian association focused exclusively on the promotion and protection of the right to education, in education and training to identify the privileged tools to free people from misery and to restore their denied dignity and the concept of radical change in development cooperation, which at the time it was only intended as a consignment of material aid. In 2000, Don Aldo Martini became President of Opam, to live the principle of brotherhood and reciprocity. In 2018, Fr Robert Kasereka Ngongi, a former child beneficiary of Opam, will take over as president, as another concrete sign of the important fruits of the experience of brotherhood and reciprocity lived between North and South.Fifty years after his birth, the countries and the opera has grown to 82, of which 40 in Africa, 24 in Asia and 19 in Latin America. Aware of the new pedagogical emergency condemned by Pope Francis and of the need to humanize the world, Opam today launches its commitment to make its contribution to the Global Pact of Education.

So there are 4 words for “a humanity” that identify Opam’s work today:

“Education to play a leading role in the history of the world. Share to ensure the implementation of equal rights and obligations. Reciprocity to improve and improve exchange processes. Fraternity to create strong and inextricable bonds between peoples.

Opam receives intervention proposals directly from its local contacts and submits them to its supporters for funding. In this way, the supported communities are protagonists of their development and Opam always manages to drive in a very targeted and appropriate way in the contexts.

A project can include different types of intervention, from recipients and from schools.

Among the initiatives implemented, distance school adoptions; stable fundraising activities to ensure continuous support for those interventions that need more assistance, such as school building, teacher support, road teacher training for street children, literacy and vocational training for women; global education activities such as coach training, educational workshops and twins between schools in the North and South, educational projects.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Opam has organized an international poetry competition for students from the North and the South. “Poetry is a love letter addressed to the world”. During the competition, the President of Opam, Fr. Robert Kasereka Ngongi“Children aged 6 to 12 and adolescents aged 13 to 18 in some of their twenties participated.”“A cross-section of humanity that has given us back the image of a generation on a global level, in some ways sensitive, courageous and responsible, in other ways fragile introverted and in search of hope.”

Waiting for a more in-depth study of the compositions that will be the subject of a publication, Don Robert points out “among the recurring themes of poems from Africa, for example nature and the environment, which are thought to be active themes are concrete entities with which the authors have expressed both appreciation, almost gratitude and concern for their insane exploitation. personal takeover of the problem leads to the promise of a commitment to protection “.

The President of Opam continues: “From all countries, even if for different reasons,

in all the works the call for peace comes out very strongly, which in some cases becomes a real cry to stop wars,

as for the children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo “. The pastor notes: “Some works show specific competence and mastery of the poetic language, even if it is consistent at school level, while in many cases more than poetry free treatment A fact that leads us to reflect on the necessity of poetry in school classes, because poetic language is an instrument par excellence of freedom and at the same time of expressive depth. Poetry is a universal language and a Language of dreams: And because everyone has the right to learn to dream, we believe it’s important that poetry plays a more important role in schools.

From this first edition of the competition, Don Robert concludes: “We draw an important affirmation: the wealth that generates the listening of others. In thefor, as Pope Francis tells us, the ‘globalization of equality’ is overcome by passing through a deep conversion of the human heart, it is necessary to work to understand globalization.

Therefore, we must insist on asking it, to try it, especially if we want to somehow learn to govern it. In order to study and rewrite it – and not to suffer easily – the reflection on globalization can therefore only be of an anthropological nature, with the attention but to liberate the cultural dimension of the problem of the territory, because the culture over the Reference goes to the country. Therefore, we believe that the experience of this competition has given us a lot of baggage, of which we feel the responsibility to be depositors and carriers “.

The poems are about 200 and come from Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda and Togo), from Asia (Philippines, India, Indonesia and Myanmar), from Latin America (Bolivia and Brazil) and from Latin America ( Bolivia and Brazil) Europe (Albania and Italy), and several languages ​​(Albanian, Arabic, Bahasa, Burmese, French, English, Italian, Kako, Portuguese, Swahili, Tagalog and Tamil).Among the participants were also children belonging to ethnic minorities, such as the children of El Alto in Bolivia and the small Aymara, an ancient Indian people, of the Andean Plateau; or for discriminated against and marginalized social groups like the Dalit of India.In other cases, it is children and adolescents living in areas plagued by continuous armed attacks, such as in northern Cameroon, where Islamic fundamentalists sow terror; or young students who today respond to a violence that has already suffered, such as the girls of St. Louis. A school that today represents a sign of the resurrection scene and hope for the peace and development of the country, destroyed for years by the violence of Kony and his army of abducted girls and boys.

There are the students of Lakka, children of the victims of abuse and mistreatment of a decade of civil war in Sierra Leone, and many children who are still living in war situations, such as the students of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who sent various have got. Jobs from the north.Kivu, from the territory of Butembo-Beni. Without forgetting the children of the Opam schools in Ethiopia who are experiencing the drama of the war with Eritrea; and the students of Loikaw in northern Myanmar on the border with Thailand, current refugees in the refugee camp of Inn Tain, in Shan State, along with the nuns who, as they can, continue to learn despite the fact that the schools in Myanmar were suspended for two years due to the pandemic and the war.

Situations of violence and insecurity are also experienced by the children of Western Mindoro in the Philippines who have participated with various jobs. And students living in difficult situations, of hunger and malnutrition, due to climate change, such as those of Tchèbèbè in Togo and Batouri in Cameroon. And exactly from Batouri came the poem of a 9-year-old boy who identifies the world with cassava, a tuber with a white and solid pulp, the only source of survival for him and for all those who live where d ‘Climate crisis continues unabated. Desert and therefore hunger.Other poems also come from the hell of the favelas of Brazil, most notably from two Opam after-school centers set up to rescue children from the street, from prostitution, drug trafficking and the risk of being killed during periodic raids for the crime districts ..

Finally, another participating center is the after-school service for children from the Nita Maumere forest in Indonesia, where Opam recently launched its first project to combat fundamentalism, discrimination and poverty.

The award ceremony, led by Radio InBlu2000 journalist Alessandra Giacomucci, will be recorded and available online in the first days of June. The initiative is organized in collaboration with Uciim (Italian Catholic Union of Teachers, Managers, Educators, Coaches), Aib (Italian Library Association) – National Commission for School Libraries, Sir (Religious Information Service), Crbs (Coordination of School Libraries Networks) and Trl Piemonte (TorinoReteLibri).

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