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Performing arts group celebrates 50 years of providing confidence to youth

2017-02-03

Gen Verde, the female musical group for the Focolare movement, understands the power music and performance can have on people. That is why this group of 22 women from 14 countries is about to leave for Spain and Italy to present their new project called "On the Other Side."

The group was created in the International Center of Loppiano (Italy) on December 23, 1966 when the founder of the Focolare movement, Chiara Lubich, gave the girls from the "Gen Movement" group a green drum. This is where their name comes from.

This year they celebrate their 50th anniversary and their spirit is just as alive today as when they started.

RAIVETH BANFIELD
Dancer and singer, Gen Verde
"For me it's a very enriching job. Because you think you are going there to sing and send a message, instead you are going to cities and places where you find people who have a desire to work for a better world, to live for the people who suffer the most."

Through their songs and choreography, they want young people from all over the world to see that there is room for hope and that everyone has a special talent to share with others, whether they know it or not.

Some of these encounters with the youth are more shocking than others, like this one Adriana García had with with a Muslim girl.

ADRIANA GARCIA
Gen Verde
"We are demanding from the youth because this is also human formation, not just values. You can see the change and how people feel when they say 'no one has seen me in this way.' We did the project in Britain last year, and a Muslim girl told us, 'I never thought I could go out on stage with the veil, it's the first time.' She participated with the other Christian children, even with someone who did not have a religious faith. What is the reaction? It's like: if you give them confidence, they'll respond a thousand fold."

They have scheduled tours in several countries this year, but there is one that makes them especially excited.

ADRIANA GARCIA
Gen Verde
"It will be a very intense year. We will also have shows in Italy and God willing, who knows... our dream is to be at World Youth Day in Panama. Things are moving, hopefully we will achieve this goal.
Do you have any contacts yet?
"Yes, but well, I want to be discreet."

There are still two years left until the next WYD, but there is still time for many surprises. Meanwhile, Gen Verde will continue to work and share the talent each member has from different parts of the world.



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