New Humanity Movement

Education and Culture

rosarioIn this Argentine city, one of the strategic centres of the country’s life, a project took place in 2005 intended to be ‘by young people for young people.’ It was based on the practice of the ‘Golden Rule.’ - Unexpected results after more than four years of activity:

Text put together by Paolo Balduzzi

Rosario is the largest and most highly populated city in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. The metropolitan area of the city is the third most important in the country, after Buenos Aires and Córdoba.

A cosmopolitan city, Rosario is strategically located in terms of the Argentine economy, offering its natural beauty and unique architecture to those who visit it.

Here too there’s a fine group of people who live for universal fraternity, making their talents and experience available in a way that’s gradually changing the face of the city.

This time, the protagonists are young people, Young People for Unity,’ who have been living for years in such a way as to make fraternity a category of thought and action common to all their contemporaries. Hoping to get the young people of the towns near Rosario involved, they met with adults who live the same ideal along with them. These adults helped them to understand what they wanted to do, what tactics to adopt, and how best to channel their strengths.

That meeting turned out to be very fruitful and gave rise to various initiatives to ‘inundate’—as they like to speak of it—the city with fraternity.

In fact, they called their project ‘Colouring the city with fraternity,’ with the aim of making as many young people as possible aware of what is called the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.’ This is a principle common to all religions and all cultures, to men and women of good will everywhere.

The field of action for the young people had to begin from the school. Having involved the authorities in, public and private schools, young people’s associations and teachers, they focused on a strategy so that young people could become protagonists at various levels. What they carried out was an action for getting the golden rule known especially where young people were most likely to gather. They generated moments of exchange and dialogue on the theme, gathering up the experiences of the students who’d put it into practice, and creating space and solidarity between the various schools and towards the city.

The project began in 2005 and continues up to now. It concentrates on these points:

A first ‘forum’ was held to set up and give shape to the project, which involved 4000 young people from schools in Santa Fe, Tucumán, Salta, Mendoza, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Chaco and Corrientes.

That led to the educational action in the schools, where teachers and students worked together on the golden rule, putting it into practice as the key for generating fraternity in the school, but also in the city where the school was located.

Various versions of an ‘Expo’ of fraternity were held from 2006, during which the young people were able to inform a large number of people about the projects and the ideas underlying their work.

Since 2007, the project was declared part of the regional and provincial programme of the Santa Fe education ministry, while some educational institutions made the guidelines for ‘Youth for Unity’ the basis of their programmes.

And since 2009, a new initiative has begun: a formation course for teachers entitled ‘Fraternity and Citizenship.’ Approved by the Province of Chaco’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, the project has been included in the programme for in-service training for teachers in the region.

This project, based on the life of the young people has had a dual impact: on the one hand, capacity for learning in school is increasing, while on the other hand the students’ participation in the life of the school and the surrounding community is improving, as have relationships with parents, teachers and with adults and educators in general. 

Here are a few impressions from the young people:

‘With the “Golden Rule” we’re learning not to judge, and by living it we’re creating bonds of friendship and esteem that make us better as persons; they make us happy because we’re contributing to the common good.’

‘Since I’ve been living the “Golden Rule,” I feel I’m more integrated, better able to speak in front of my class, I’ve made new friends, and especially I’ve understood the value of myself as a person. This project has improved my life.’ (This girl had been very shy and had problems in relating with others).

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