One of the local CARP chapters in Korça city, located in the south-eastern region of Albania, organized a service project called “You Have Great Value”. As is the case with many places all over the world, this city is home to many poor families who cannot afford food to feed themselves and who live in poor housing conditions.
As members of CARP Korça, they wanted to do something to help. They broke up into 3 groups and an engaged discussion ensued on what could be done to help these people. Finally, they came to the conclusion that a service project would be a great way to contribute to these poorer communities. They had done similar service projects in the past and through them, they’ve been able to support 6 families in total.
The main purpose of the service project was 1) To create awareness in young people about the sad reality in which many people have to live and to educate them to live for the sake of others. 2) To help and support poor people.
Before going out, there was a brief meeting with a presentation about people in history who invested in others and changed the world through their acts of service. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison and Rev. Sun Myung Moon were a few of the people mentioned who did great work and invested in people. This was followed by a video presentation of the speech given by Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator.” Some memorable quotes from his speech are, “I should like to help everyone. You are not machines. You have the love of humanity in you. You, the people have the power. The power to create happiness.” Through showing the participants this inspirational video, they were encouraged to do great things in life that will benefit the people of the world.
Each team then decided to collect money, clothes and food to support the poor families.
For many of the participants, it was their first time going out to fundraise. “We were a bit worried because we know that it is not easy, but our worry was all for nothing. The participants were very much inspired and there was a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction on the faces of everyone. We once again experienced the wonder and power of investing in others,” explained one of the organizers.
Visiting Poor Families
“Each team visited one poor family and conveyed to them all the things we had gathered for them. Many of the families invited us into their humble homes and we sat together, listening to their situation and story. We were very touched by their stories. Many of their situations were situations that we could not have imagined. These experiences made us appreciate life on a deeper level and left us with many thoughts.”
Here are a few testimonies of participants on their experience doing the service projects:
“I know there are many poor people in the world. But it was very different knowing about it and actually seeing it with my own eyes. I was very shocked. It made me look back at my own life and reflect a lot. In one part of the world, people have an abundance of food, so much so that much of it is even thrown away and wasted. However,on the other side of the world, people are suffering because of starvation. Why is it so difficult for people who are wealthy to share with people who are not? I am very grateful that W-CARP gave me this great experience.”
“Through this activity, I understood that there are still many people who need help.”
After doing this project together, we became closer and deepened our relationship with each other. We understood that if we put into practice the words of our founder and True Father, “Live for the sake of others”, we can do a lot of good for others, but at the same time, we can also get great energy and happiness.
Check out these two videos about the service project:
35 young people from every part of Italy joined the CARP workshop held in Colle Mattia (Rome) from the 22nd to the 25th of April. It was a great chance for us to share about what we’ve accomplished so far as a youth association. This was a good place to make a new start and determine to make a positive impact in society.
The motto of the workshop “Life of Values and Pure Relationships for a Better Society” was the underlying theme of each activity: lectures, discussions, service projects and leisure activities. These activities created a warm spirit and good space for developing stronger bonds between the participants.
The lectures, given mainly by young life coaches, covered different topics such as the importance of character education and family values, the fundamental essence of human life and leadership guidance. After each lecture, we had engaging discussions on how we can apply the content to our personal lives.
Participants took part in two service projects. One group cleaned up the area around the Colle Mattia train station by picking up all the garbage lying around.
The other group helped staff an event organised by the local community of Sant’Egidio to spread love and joy to children through games, cooking, dancing and other fun activities.
Through these service projects, participants got a chance to live for the sake of others and invest their love and energy for the greater good of the society. They were small projects but they had a significant impact on the local communities.
Afterwards, we visited a special art museum called “Living Together” which was created by disabled artists who kept investing in their passion and talents despite their disabilities. We were inspired to see the beautiful artwork created by these artists.
The next day’s theme was “Pure Relationships” so we had lectures on purity and relationships followed by discussions about various interesting topics; “How to prepare yourself before committing to a relationship”, “the differences in the expression of love between man and woman”, “how to grow together as a couple”, “what to consider when starting a family” and “how to pass on our values and traditions to our kids”. We also took part in leisure activities such as sports, dance, board games and karaoke. The day ended with an evening program dedicated to reflection and meditation.
On the last day, it was time to try to come up with an answer to the question, “How we can build a better society and where do we start?” To give us some inspiration, we had lectures by Elena Chirulli and Fiorella Capone on topics such as “Discovering Ourselves”, “Our Identity” and “Strengths and Abilities.” Emphasis was placed on the importance of having clear goals in life that are not just focused on the individual self but on the wider society.
At the end of the session each participant had time to reflect and write a personal “life mission statement.”
Participants found this exercise to be very useful and many were proud to share it with others. Some discovered that they do have a “personal mission” deep down inside and having the chance to write it down made it more concrete and clear. Now they can start to create an action plan with steps in order to achieve it.
They then brainstormed ideas about future CARP events and activities in each community as well as on a national level. Some of the outcomes of these sessions were the establishment of three committees: the media committee (you tube channel coming soon!), the writers’ committee and CARP Italy Facebook Page Administrators’ committee.
The participants showed a strong desire to cooperate, take initiative and take responsibility.
Here are some reflections from the participants:
“At the end of this workshop I feel more inspired and I want to do the best that I can back in my community and with the other young people. I expect that all of us are going to be more active and initiate new activities/events.”
“What I gained from this workshop is a strong determination. I have a strong desire to be more active.”
“I feel more inspired because I understand now who we are and what we have to offer. I believe that in the future we will have a strong impact in society and we will attract many more people.”
We all felt that this workshop was a great success in motivating and energizing the Italian youth movement and we now look forward to working together with clarity, passion and determination!