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Monday, 08 Feb 2016

“Solidarity triumphs if it shuns false compassion”

“Solidarity triumphs if it shuns false compassion”. 
Giovanni Mottini, President Harambee, concludes the Forum.
Rome – The last of the 2008/2009 sessions of the “Forum: Incontri e confronti sull’Africa, per l’Africa” organised by Harambee Africa International ONLUS was held at the Centro Studi Militari Aeronautici and in collaboration with the Associazione Romana di Studi e Solidarietà.

The title of the speech given by Giovanni Mottini, President of Harambee ONLUS was “The new trends of solidarity”. According to Mottini, “solidarity triumphs if it shuns false compassion, cynicism and sensationalism, if it attains the common good, if it promotes the dignity of the person.”

“Two prevailing attitudes,” observed Mottini, “have hindered the success of attempts made by the West in transforming the African continent: a compassionate pietistic stance and a cynical approach typical of a capitalist mentality. The first attitude, fostered by a culture of pure indignation, proves to be unrealistic or in any case, not very incisive. The second, on the other hand, is limited to acknowledging the futility and unproductiveness of the efforts made until now; it seems to want to say: we have spent resources and energy on them but the Africans do not change.”

Pointing out his disagreement with these two attitudes, the President of Harambee ONLUS stated that, “Solidarity, understood correctly as derived from the principle of fraternity, is a social virtue. It is a permanent disposition to do good to one’s neighbour which means to seek the common good, that is to do to others what you would like them to do to you. In order to achieve this end, one needs to recognise the dignity of one’s neighbour and appreciate his needs and aspirations. Our concern for those in need cannot however be reduced to their material poverty, we need to look for ways to deal with the immaterial dimension of this poverty which is seen above all in the lack of hope.

As concerns the mass media, Mottini sustains that solidarity, “is dealt with from the perspective of emergency and sensationalism, both of which end up presenting it in a banal way.”

The President, while making reference to the mission of Harambee Africa International ONLUS, emphasised on the importance of an education “that is built on the professional competence of teachers, on the talent of students as well as the involvement of the family.” He concluded by pointing out that, “even though education did not receive due attention from the means of communication as a whole, we are convinced that the future of Africa lies in a process of education that knows how to “e-ducere”: to bring forth that which is within, that is the qualities of the person, of a people.

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