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AVSI in Rimini: The ingenuity of the person overcomes any crisis

Rimini-2013-ElizaThis week, the Rimini Convention Center is filled once again with an estimated 700,000 attendees for the 34th annual Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples, this year titled: “The Human Person: a State of Emergency.” The cultural event, which takes place August 18-24,   brings together the realms of non-profits, businesses, academics, politics, science, music and art, inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and much more in between.

Throughout the week, AVSI will have a continual presence at “the Meeting” with its large booth, where staff from AVSI’s Milan headquarters and from offices around the world will welcome visitors, who this year will also have a chance to meet women and youth from two successful social businesses in Eastern Europe. Rozafa is operated by Albanian women, who created the business around production of traditional crafts, creating new jobs and earning the description “the solution to people’s problems” from Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus. Mozaic is a Romanian start-up which creates and markets mosaics. It is made up of and managed by disadvantaged youth who grew up supported by AVSI’s Distance Support Program, who are now flourishing in the transition to work and adulthood.

Rimini 2013 Rose RozafaThe stand was a place for meetings, like that between Eliza from Romania and Rita and Stefano, after 10 years that they sponsored her while she lived in a welcoming house in Bucharest 2001-2011. Other AVSI partners and friends, like Rose Busingye of Meeting Point International in Uganda, also stopped by to examine the beautiful work of the women of Rozafa.

Below is a summary of the presentations that will take place in Rimini connected to AVSI’s work. For those of you who cannot make the trip to Italy, check online for English summaries or live broadcasts, which will be posted at



(6:00 pm at stand C1 with Diesse)

Many Italian teachers and schools have become part of the AVSI family by participating in the Distance Support Family with their students. A number of teachers present in Rimini will share how sponsoring a student in another country has helped to open the walls of the classroom and the hearts of the students.



(7:00 PM in Siemens Hall C1)

Participants: Antranig Ayvazlan, Spiritual leader of the Armenian Catholic Church in Northern Syria and Massimo Ilardo, Director of Aid to the Church in Need - Italy, with an introduction by Roberto Fontolan, Director of the International Center of Communion and Liberation, and final remarks by Emilia Guarnieri, President of the Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples Foundation.

Read more:

AVSI at Rimini 2012

10 for Syria Campaign: Overcoming the ‘globalization of indifference’