Sant’Egidio, Global Friendship: “Let us build a future of Peace where no one is excluded

European Youth for Peace meeting concludes in Amsterdam


At the closing of the international meeting of Youth for Peace, the President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, said: “We are free to work for peace, to be happy and to help others. Let us dream together of a future without war and violence”.

Sant’Egidio and Global Friendship

Sunday ended in Amsterdam the international meeting of the 1,000 Youth for Peace, who came to the capital of the Netherlands from 15 European countries, including Ukraine, with a large delegation from Kiev, Kharkiv, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Cherson and Donetsk. Three days of friendship, debate and reflection on different themes – ecology, migration, poverty – which gave voice to the hopes of this youth movement linked to the Community of Sant’Egidio and consolidated its commitment to spread, every day, a culture of solidarity and inclusion in schools, universities and neighbourhoods, alongside children in difficulty, the homeless, the elderly and refugees.

“We are free to work for peace, to be happy and to help others. Let us dream together of a future without war and violence,” said Marco Impagliazzo at the plenary assembly. “Let us build communities where everyone feels at home, a place where the fears of the present can be overcome. Fears can only be overcome by being with others. Anne Frank found in the diary a friend and in words the strength to resist. Etty Hillesum went to the Westerbock camp in order to help her brothers and sisters who had been sent from there to the extermination camps. Having ideals saved the lives of Anna and Etty”, said the president of Sant’Egidio, calling for the legacy of these two young Dutch Jewish women who lived through the horror of the Second World War and the Shoah to be taken up.

The meeting also included a lecture by Mario Giro on the difficult international situation and the war in Ukraine, a visit to the Anne Frank House and the National Monument to the Victims of the Holocaust, a demonstration for peace in the centre of Amsterdam and a festive Eucharistic liturgy presided by Mgr Johannes Hendriks, Bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, in the presence of Mgr Giancarlo Dellagiovanna, of the Apostolic Nunciature in the Netherlands. At the end of the meeting, the Youth for Peace agreed to meet next year in Padua and Venice for a new stage of Global Friendship.