Published: Saturday, 31 March 2012 23:00
Young people of the Economy of Communion take recommendations to the United Nations
By Elizabeth Garlow
from Living City April 2012
Timely conversations on social development and the global economic crisis buzzed in the halls of the United Nations headquarters in New York from February 1–10 for the 50th session of the U.N.’s Commission for Social Development. The commission advises the U.N. on matters of social policy and is responsible for identifying ways to put people at the center of development.
This year’s session paid special attention to challenges faced by young people today. Youth unemployment taints the quality of life and social progress in both developing and developed countries.
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Published: Monday, 31 October 2011 23:00
Written by Thomas Masters and Amy Uelmen
The Economy of Communion’s beginnings, principles and impact in America
By Thomas Masters and Amy Uelmen
from Living City, November 2011
The Focolare’s project for an Economy of Communion in Freedom (EoC) embodies the conviction that human persons, as founder Chiara Lubich describes them, “find fulfillment precisely in loving, in giving.” The EoC illustrates the potential of a system of economic development based upon relationships of reciprocal giving and receiving.
How the EoC began
As the Focolare spread throughout the world, people strived to meet the material needs of everyone in the community. Such needs, however, often outstripped resources. During a visit to Brazil in 1991, Chiara was moved by the circumstances of the people, including Focolare members, living in the shantytowns that surround Sao Paulo. Reflecting with the community on how to respond to these needs, the idea of launching a new economic model emerged. EoC businesses would generate jobs and commit to a three-part division of their profits: direct aid to people in need, educational projects to help foster a “culture of giving” and the continued growth and development of the business.
There are now 797 such businesses, most of them small and medium-sized; a few have more than 100 employees.
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