“Charity is not simply social assistance and not in the least social assistance to reassure consciences. No, that is not love, that is business. Love is free. Charity, love is life choice, it is a way of being, a way of life, it is a path of humility and of solidarity. There is no other way for this love: to be humble and in solidarity with others. This word solidarity in this culture of waste — what is not used is discarded - runs the risk of being deleted from the dictionary because it is a word that bothers us, it bothers us. Why? Because it requires you to look at another and give yourself to another with love. It is better to delete it from the dictionary because it bothers us. And as for us no, let us say: this is the way, humility and solidarity.” (Pope Francis, Cagliari, September 22, 2013)At the peripheries of the world there is a humanity that wants to take up his life again. There is no context of poverty, hardship, violence, that can prevent a man to take up the need he represents. Everybody needs a look of tenderness that matches our wounded humanity and may change ourselves and the world. AVSI is instrumental in bringing this look and the tents campaign represents an opportunity to share what is going on, to go out and meet. Since 1990, from Christmas to Easter, AVSI friends and volunteers organize the Tents campaign throughout Italy and some foreign countries. Its purpose is to raise awareness about critical issues in development countries and raise funds to support selected projects. A network of about 1,000 volunteers in Italy, involves about 400,000 people in the organization of hundreds of events or by offering a donation.
This year’s campaign is focused on the theme "Stories of a new world: the AVSI projects to welcome, educate, and promote employment" and proposes 4 projects:
SYRIA: Support for Syrian refugees and activities to help the Diocese of Aleppo The very serious crisis in Syria continues with a massive exodus of people. Some 1 million and 600,000 people escaped from the country and are now in Lebanon and Jordan, where AVSI supports over 13.000 people in refugee camps, and where needs are enormous. The project also provides support to H.E. Antoine Audo, Chaldean bishop of the Diocese of Aleppo and President of Caritas Syria as well as to the Custody of the Holy Land present in Syria.
KENYA: Otunga School in Nairobi - support for educational activities The secondary school Maurice Otunga at Kahawa Sukari, a suburb north of Nairobi, started its activities in 2005 with 25 students and 4 teachers; now it houses 240 boys and delivers a high quality service recognized by the Kenyan Ministry of Education. The project provides support to the educational activities of the school.
PERU: Support to employment for young people in the outskirts of Lima and cocoa farmers in the Amazon area. Despite the great growth of the country, the problem of employment, especially for young people in the poor areas of Lima is extremely topical. The project involves strengthening the activities of the Service Centre for employment that provides training and supports matching between demand and offer. The project also provides support to the agricultural activities of Cocoa producers. They are little more than 300 farmers currently assisted to improve production and marketing activities.
UKRAINE: A home for disabled children in Kharkov Support for educational and recreational activities to help orphans and disabled children. The activities will be carried out by Emmaus, the non-governmental organization founded in Kharkov in 2011 by Aleksander Filonenko and include support to study in orphanages, theatre workshops, mime and design as well as training seminars for young educators. The tents campaign will also provide funds to purchase a house for the orphans and disabled who have completed their course of study.