Active Citizens Children
"Dare to care" is the motto chosen for the 2020-2021 Pathway campaign of United World Project (http://www.unitedworldproject.org/daretocare/), which aims to put the Paradigm of "care" at the center of politics and of our lives as citizens.
It seemed to us a wonderful opportunity to value, increase and highlight one of the fundamental aspects of the Gen 4 life, which is “Love for others” in all its facets (the art of loving with the "cube of love", the culture of giving...). This opens them to live in their everyday life the giving of oneself, the commitment to living for a more united world and to spreading the values of peace and universal brotherhood.
The formation of Gen4 already includes the development of collaborative skills, the ability to recognize and appreciate different identities in a perspective of dialogue and mutual respect, the experience of active citizenship, taking care of the environment and nature, the development of awareness of being global citizens from an early age. However, the adult world does not always understand the potential of children to be true authors of pro-social and fraternal values.
We would therefore like 2021 to be an important moment for children, in the development of values and behaviors oriented towards healthy social growth, in order to become "Active citizens children", capable of participating actively in the construction of the community. They need to be accompanied by their Gen 4 assistants, their group leaders and their parents, to help them live a global experience throughout the year, working together as a single team between generations and above all involving children as leaders of change. For this reason, we believe it is essential to support assistants and group leaders so that they have the ability to give space to children, so that they can be leaders, and their dignity and importance in every society in which they live is recognized.
With this intention, a first training video addressed to all educators has been created (https://youtu.be/sR5HtMX1AXQ).
But there are many local experiences already underway: actions and initiatives organized by children and aimed at dialogue, recognition and respect for different identities, care for the environment and nature, help for the disadvantaged, and commitment to healing the social wounds of their cities.
In Portugal, they planted trees to repopulate the forests that burned down during the terrible fires of 2018; in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, they organized the "Toy Exchange Fair"; in Burkina Faso, they help sew anti-Covid masks.
Also in Brazil, when the action "Active Citizens Children" started, the Gen 4 had these two ideas:
-the first is to collect boxes of milk and juice to donate to an association that works for people living on the streets and make blankets for them: so they can bring to these people milk and juice as well;
-the other is to collect plastic caps to help a girl who has cerebral palsy and needs to collect 54 tons of caps to have an operation.
The Gen 4 have taken these two activities seriously and do campaigns in the neighborhood and in apartment buildings.
In Italy, the Gen 4 in the cities of Pescara and Chieti, with their families, collaborated with the Community of Sant'Egidio to distribute food to the city's homeless.
For a week, each family undertook to prepare dinner for 5 people: sandwiches, fruit, water, a dessert with a card where each child expressed all their love. The volunteers of the Community of Sant'Egidio said: "Some people who received the sandwiches were struck by this gesture of friendship, especially because it came from families and children. For example, a somewhat reserved man who had received a bag that did not contain a ticket, shortly afterwards asked us if he could have it! We got it from another bag and he was very happy, even though he didn't show it! Or, another boy who had politely declined the offer of food, when we told him that the sandwich was made by the children, he read the greeting and ate it right away, sharing it with a friend!" The family of a Gen 4 who had received a cash voucher for Covid, after this experience decided to donate it to help poor immigrant families.
They repeated the initiative during the Christmas season.
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