On the 9th of September 2012 Italian youth gathered for the first working meeting of the Interreligious Youth Council in Milano. 6 participants (1 representing Islam, 2 Christianity and 3 Unificationism) attended this meeting, taking place from 15:00 to 19:00.
Due to the fact that many of us never met before, we dedicated the first hour to getting to know each other: everyone after introducing themselves and sharing a little bit about their lives (studies, professional experience, faith affiliation, experiences abroad, etc.). Everyone presented an object, that he or she carries always around and that holds a special meaning. This small ice-breaker created a very positive and at the same time deep atmosphere.
We continued with a presentation of our project (the IYC) and by sharing some passages from the Sacred Scriptures, we tried to understand the role and meaning of the family in the different religious traditions. The discussion had a definitely positive outcome: all of us felt personally engaged and even if sometimes the discussion seemed to get heated up, the truth was that we all had a great desire to understand the depth of the concepts expressed by the others.
The discussion brought us to a point, where we had to find the definitions of concepts such as family and love, how they should be understood and put into practice.
For the next meeting we would like to develop a draft of a shared declaration on the topic of “the contribution of faiths towards the promotion of the value of family”, conclude this and focus on practical projects centred on the declaration.
In case you would be interested to participate at the second meeting or at the presentation of the project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Paulo Hi-Seung D’Alberti
National Coordinator, Youth UPF Italia