The first part of the United World Contest is over. 24 Youth for a United World have been selected: coming from all continents, they are ready to begin the training course that will transform them into ambassadors of the united world.

FACESThe first phase of the United World Contest is over. But who are these 24 young people who passed the selection? If you want to know their stories, please visit the Contest's Facebook page. In short, we can say that they come from every single continent: Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Argentina, the Philippines, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, the U.S., and Burkina Faso. Most of them are university students, between 19 and 24 years old, 13 boys and 12 girls, and nearly all have already experienced a United World Week. Having passed this selection, the online training course is their next step.

What’s the spark that ignites change? For Lalela, a South African NGO, it is art and creativity.

Lalela 1In the townships of Cape Town, where children and young people grow up in at-risk environments, offering them a way out of the vicious cycle of poverty, lack of opportunity and violence is no easy task. Yet, in 2010 something changed: that year, for the first time, an art programme opened its doors to the kids of the periphery, showing in time that children who are free to create become adults who are capable of making decisions, creating opportunities and building a better future for themselves. It all starts with the prophetic gaze of people who see potential where others see problems.

From 8th to 16th January, during the austral summer, a group of 25 people went back on holiday to El Espinal, a town located between Salta and San Miguel de Tucumán, in the north-west of Argentina. Let’s hear the story of the third edition of these "different" holidays by Sol Wamba, a student of Social Communications in La Rioja, who has participated in this initiative since its first edition.

Espinal 1What are the factors that help you make a choice when it comes to holidays? According to some tourist websites: the weather and then, of course, money. After that, food and things to be done or seen at destination are also taken into consideration. If, however, you decide not to rely on general statistics, you would discover original travel experiences, such as the one that, for some years, some young people have been making by choosing El Espinal for their summer holidays, a town located between Salta and San Miguel de Tucumán, in the north-west of Argentina.

In addition to rest, the main goal of their "Different Holidays" is to share the daily life of the local people, to discover their culture, and contribute to enhancing their tourism potential, participating in the work promoted by the Sustainable and Solidarity Tourism Programme of North-West Argentina (NOA).
Sol Wamba, a student of Social Communications in La Rioja, has participated in this experience since its first edition.

Reforestation, renewable energy, waste management, environmental education. Four keywords for a project that creates a network of the best forces for the African continent, and not only, with a view to universal fraternity.

Greening1Mal d'Afrique is the so-called nostalgic feeling capturing those who visit this incredibly beautiful Continent, able to amaze, suitable to kindle a desire to go back and a sense of rebirth. A Continent which at the same time hides a dark, painful face, looted by the greed of the powerful who go ahead regardless of anything or anyone, let alone the dignity of a people, in the face of high and secure earnings. This means that, especially over the last few years of the so-called "short century," the African countries have been stripped and deprived of so many riches and opportunities, forcing their inhabitants to wage wars to survive, to flee, or simply to let themselves die. Poverty, including moral poverty and an environmental and social degradation that are visible to the naked eye in various areas of the Continent are the consequences of such theft of goods and dignity.

In this context, Greening Africa Together was established, "a network of non-governmental organizations, universities, institutions, and communities that collaborate in the field of "green" development" – say Arthur Ngoy and Lilly Seidler. He is a gynaecologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she is a German teacher, who has worked for years in Senegal, where she founded a non-profit organization - International Forest Onlus - together with a group of students. They have just shared their experience at a conference organized by the New Humanity Movement in Pomezia, near Rome.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the death of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, we publish below the text of one of her speeches,"The art of loving and the united world," that was read, in January 2003, by one of her first companions, Natalia Dallapiccola, in Coimbatore, India, during a meeting with young people and civil and religious authorities at the Avinashilingan University. In these words, Chiara Lubich proposes to everyone a method, the art of loving, to achieve the united world, peace, and universal brotherhood.

Chiara Lubich«Dear Young People, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very happy to be here again in Coimbatore, in this beloved city which wished to honour me, two years ago, by conferring me with the title of “Defender of Peace”. On that happy occasion I promised, so as to honour this recognition, to revive among the persons and groups I would have encountered, in all the cities and nations I would have visited, fraternal communion, solidarity, unity, the specific charism of my Movement, which is the guarantee of peace. And it is what I would like to do today as well, here with you, addressing myself especially to the many young people who are present.

Many Kenyans have continued to applaud the move by the government to ban plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging terming it as a great move to curb the plastic bag menace.

PlasticIn August 2017, the Kenyan government banned importation and manufacturing of plastic bags as a way of taking care of the environment.

Plastic was the most common packaging material used Kenya. Whenever you went for shopping there was a likelihood that whatever you buy will be packed in plastic bag. However, today things have charged and Kenyan have adapted new ways of packaging hence making the environment clean.
Statistics indicated that over 24 million plastic bags were used monthly half of which ended up in the solid mainstream.

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