Many warm greetings to all from Bujumbura, Burundi!!
We arrived at the beautiful international airport of Bujumbura on Tuesday night, notwithstanding the late hour there was a big number of the Focolare local community waiting for us. As soon as we reached the car park, they started singing welcome songs accompanied with graceful dancing. We were given a customary banana wine bottle which was sweet and delicious.
From that moment, our 2nd phase of “Sharing with Africa” trip started. From the very first moment, we discovered that there are very high expectations from this visit and we are sure that unity with all the Youth for a United World from all over the globe will fulfil their expectations. There is a lot of on-going preparatory work and the programme ahead of us is rather intense. Here is a short summary:
Thursday – 8th May:
AM: Visit to the Focolare NGO - CASOBU that runs many social projects and programmes.
PM: Review of 11th May Youth Programme. In the evening, we are invited together with 20 Y4UW to have traditional dinner with a family of the Focolare Movement.
Friday – 9th May:
AM: Visit to Chiara Luce Social Centre and the homeless people in Kinama Area, Bujumbura. Last February, many people of this area lost their lives and their homes due to landslides after heavy rainfall.
PM: Meeting with 100 Y4UW from Burundi and Rwanda.
Saturday – 10th May:
AM: General rehearsal of 11th May Programme and visit to Maramvia and Gatunguru social projects in favour of displaced people.
PM: Round table with Y4UW on the theme: “The influence of modernism on Ubuntu” held by Professor Gilbert
Sunday – 11th May:
AM: “Sharing with Africa Meeting – A culture for fraternity”. This much awaited event is expected to welcome around 700 Y4UW at the Islamic Cultural Centre.
PM: Linkup with Algeria, India and Philippines followed by Y4UW Concert on Reconciliation.
As you can see, the programme is rather full with meetings and social activities and we have ample time for interaction and exchanging experiences, however, the most beautiful feeling we are experiencing during these days is the great joy in everyone’s heart.
The city of Bujumbura is literally swarming with young people of the movement and many adults are engaged in a very natural way in the many chores that go along with such events, such as welcoming people who come from Rwanda, Congo or even from the far off villages. We are witnessing a competition of love among all the members of the Focolare Movement.
Please give our warm greetings to all and always one in building a united world!!!