Genfest 2012: Let’s bridge


“Let’s bridge” is the title of the 10th edition of the Genfest , the “celebration” of the youth
Thousands of youth from all over the world, from the most various cultures and ethnic groups, will meet together at Budapest, all moved by the same idea - not only an experience of life but also of social action: unity.
Unity between peoples, cultures and different extracts of society; also between different generations, families, between groups and movements, between Christians of various denominations and faithful of other religions. The ways that we take to build a united world are numerous.
What is a Genfest
The Genfest was born from a prophetic intuition of Chiara Lubich (link to the Chiara Lubich Centre website), founder of the Focolare Movement (link to the Focolare Movement website). The Genfest is a meeting of young people who want to show the world that universal brotherhood, a united world, is an Ideal worth living for.
There are thousands of young people in the world who from the ‘60s up till today cry it out with their lives: like Charles Moats, from a black ghetto in Los Angeles (USA), who witnessed brotherhood by giving his life; like Tenerat from Nigeria who went to meet a Muslim friend risking his life, like many of the “angels of the mud” from Genoa or like the young people of Thailand, who during the floods didn’t spare themselves in order to help the victims.
The Genfest, therefore, is a meeting place where activities, projects and initiatives, already in progress, are shared, like “Project Africa” supported for decades, “Skip a meal” in Costa Rica because of the famine in the Horn of Africa, “Good inside and out” in the prison of Milan, etc.
It is a chance to exchange and compare ideas for those who see a background rich in challenges in today’s world, where there is opportunity for change, where the other is placed at the centre.
It is an invitation to set ourselves in motion with the certainty that each person is a protagonist of their own history and of History. This can have an influence on the great afflictions of our world, contributing to the breakdown of barriers, indifference, prejudices and egoism.
The foundress of the Focolare defined it as “a waterfall of God,” of which the source is the same inspiring spark of the Focolare Movement: the discovery of God-Love (link to the Focolare Movement-Chiara Lubich- spirituality of unity).
Budapest - for 3 days the “capital of the culture of unity”
From 31 August to 2 September 2012 the city of Budapest (link to news on Budapest), a borderland country between East and West, will become the “capital of the culture of unity”. The Sport arena (12,500 places) and the bridges that tower over the Danube, will be the main locations where meetings, displays and shows will take place, organised by over 3,000 volunteers from all over the world, who have been working for months to bring the Genfest ahead. 
This same organisation of the event is an experience of unity that is continually at the basis of every effort to include, welcome and listen to the others. This leads to true dialogue and builds deeper relationships.
Concrete actions, with a world-wide perspective
Various themes will be tackled: economy, art, politics, social problems, dialogue among the different religions, the highest human values and even ecology and communication. All in an international context to involve everyone present to build, in the first person and also together with the others, bridges of fraternity.
The numbers
We are expecting a presence of 12,500 people coming to the 10th Genfest, from about 100 different nationalities and also 3,000 volunteers.
Chiara Lubich, Gen 2 boys international Congress, Rocca di Papa, 9.7.1974