Asunción (Agenzia Fides) - "In Paraguay we are experiencing social violence characterized by aggression and bullying; we try to give children proposals which are rich in values like listening to others, forgiving, sharing, respecting, and with this we build spaces of tolerance and peace day by day.
And in this way we have noticed that learning also improves substantially": explains Juan de Dios Puerto, Catholic layman of the Focolare Movement, national coordinator of the "Living Peace" educational program, which he has applied to the Catholic school he runs, the Educational San Pedro Centre, in Lambarè (in the metropolitan area of Asunción) since 2014.
In recent days, the bicameral room of the Paraguayan Parliament welcomed the first "National Forum for Peace": on this occasion 19 children and three adults were named "Ambassadors of Peace" as promoters of the "Living Peace" program. The project was born in Egypt in 2011, on the initiative of Carlos Palma, Uruguayan consecrated layman of the Focolare Movement.
At the event, after the speech by the founder and coordinator of Living Peace Carlos Palma, various personalities from the civil world offered their witness of forgiveness, work for peace and social and educational inclusion. Juan Pablo Galeano, a sixteen-year-old student at the Javier Technical Institute, told Agenzia Fides that he was "surprised and happy" of the recognition received,
which also represents "a responsibility". "I will work for a peaceful coexistence in my school, and I will continue to animate the activities of the Children for Unity (a Catholic movement open to teenagers of other faiths or non-believers) who every year organize fun and training activities to promote fraternity". Glaucya Lino, primary school teacher in Río de Janeiro, told Fides that the recognition received confirmed her "desire to spend her life for a world of peace" even in the favelas of Rio, with children aged 9 and 10, with whom she works.
Speaking to Agenzia Fides, Puerto expressed his optimism for the future: "Private school headmasters and national educational authorities were interested in the project. With this spirit we are organizing a sports tournament that will start in a few weeks among schools in the metropolitan area of Asunción".
Living Peace is today widespread in about 120 countries on 5 continents and involves over 200 thousand young people from first grade to university with their teachers. (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 7/4/2018)