“After my meeting with the Youth for a United World, I found the courage to build bridges with people belonging to the other ethnic group” shared Diotel at the meeting entitled “Sharing with Africa, a culture for fraternity” held at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Bujumbura. There were more than five hundred young people from Burundi, Rwanda and Congo listening to such experiences on dialogue and building bridges with the goal of a more united world, based on universal brotherhood.
During the civil war in Burundi, Diotel’s family transferred to a refugee camp in Tanzania and after many years, he is back in order to complete his education. Life in the refugee camp was very difficult and they had to endure many hardships. Diotel grew up with the conviction that the ethnic group that had forced his family and all the other people in refugee camp were enemies.
Re-entry in Burundi was not easy especially when he ended up sharing the same dormitory and table with people of the other ethnic group. One day, he was invited at a Youth for a United World (Y4UW) meeting and there was an incredible turning point in his life. He became convinced that universal brotherhood is possible, even with the people belonging to the other ethnic group. He tried to build bridges and found that grudge can be won by love.
A percussion group introduced this profound sharing in building a culture for fraternity. A young man narrated how he engaged his university colleagues in caring for old people who are abandoned by their families. Also, Joel from Rwanda shared about his social activities with the Batwa tribe people. A group of Burundian Y4UW narrated of their activity that followed immediately after the heavy rainfall that hit Bujumbura in February 2014 followed by an “Ecology Day” with the intent of sowing plants that prevent further landslides. The whole session reached its climax with a linkup with Y4UW in India and Philippines.
This event in Bujumbura marked the conclusion of United World Week 2014 (www.y4uw.org). It started off on 1st May at Mariapolis Piero, on the outskirts of Nairobi Kenya and it is entitled “Sharing with Africa”.
We wish to thank the wonderful people of the African Continent for their warm welcome and their enriching friendship. We have caught a glimpse of the immense treasure underlying the vast number of cultures that make up this continent.
For all the Youth for a United World, this is just a start. Now, we set the ball rolling!