On the occasion of the birth centenary of Chiara Lubich, the New Humanity Center and the Foundation of the Historical Museum of Trent, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, University and Research, have promoted a competition on “One City Is Not Enough: Chiara Lubich Citizen of the World ”. Schools from all over Italy took part: from Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto, Liguria, Tuscany, Marche, Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Calabria and Sardinia. Among these there was also Lorenzo Ghiberti Institute of Saint Francis of Pelago, about twenty kilometers from Loppiano. Gigliola Paganotto, focolarina from Loppiano and teacher at this Institute, tells us about the competition and the awarding of the prize to Class III D.
It all started a year ago when some children from Class III at the L. Ghiberti of Saint Francis of Pelago School, took turns visiting Loppiano with their teachers. Just in time before everything suddenly came to a standstill because of Covid-19.
In Loppiano the children found a new way of being together as they discovered the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). They felt at ease and happy to be involved in the activities. The teachers are enthusiastic, especially the Literature and Religion teachers who will be working in closer collaboration. The Art teacher is also involved.
Thus began a project that will prepare the classes to participate in the “One City Is Not Enough: Chiara Lubich Citizen of the World National Competition for Schools. The competition is inserted in the centenary celebrations of Chiara’s birth, with the aim of” getting to know her and her commitment to building unity and fraternity among all peoples, for the construction of Fraternity and Unity among all the peoples of the world.”
Thus the children will research, discover and get to know Chiara and a new way of looking at the world, the world that began with Jesus’s prayer “that all may be one,” a world united in peace, where dialogue and encounter are the main highways. They know Chiara as a young teacher and compare her teaching method with that of the Fascist. They experience another debate after reading a letter from Chiara in which she invites children to be protagonists of a world of peace by living the Golden Rule.
They fix their discoveries and experiences in multimedia projects, which are not always easy to carry out. It takes courage and perseverance and also courage, because education now means distant learning, connected through a home computer, so the desire is to do only what is strictly necessary.
The children’s papers are being sent to the Chiara Lubich Center. Due to the pandemic, everything is postponed to a future date when the deadline will be announced, along with the selection of the papers by the Examining Commission, and the award ceremony.
And in the meantime the school year ended with first cycle final exams in a way they had never before! In December 2020 a letter arrived from the Ministry of Education, addressed to the Director of the Pelago Institute, announcing that Class IIID was ranked first in the multimedia projects section of the Competition (see https://centrochiaralubich.org/it/ competition-for-schools /).
There was great surprise, satisfaction and happiness for the teachers and for the students who are now in their year of high school. It was an opportunity to meet again, virtually, and celebrate together as they wait for the award ceremony, which will be held on February 22, via Zoom and will be viewed by all the winning schools.
The Institute expressed its thanks publicly on its website, to the students and teachers, also because the € 400.00 Award Money will be used to launch an Intercultural and Integration Project for foreign students.”