We choose young people who reject war to become tomorrow's leaders

Mission and History

Rondine recommends a method of conflict resolution, demonstrating it with a tangible concrete experience at its International Hall of Residence.

Rondineis a small medieval village in the Italian Tuscan province of Arezzo.  Here, young people, from various war-torn parts of the world, who have been identified by history as "enemies" or who have different cultures and traditions, study and live together, to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Everything sustains their suspicions, mistrust, resentment, revenge and hatred.

They come to Rondine, to strip off some of their preconceptions, to touch their enemy and look into their eyes. They live, not for a time of emotion, but for a time of academic training. They begin to change.

Something transforms within the inner soul of each student.  This in turn changes relationships, changes the consciousness of their personal and work history and changes their lives. A change that reverses the way in which they see each other and how they perceive the world.

From Rondine, in Tuscany, they return home with their own history "upside down," ready to reverse the history of the world where they live.

Our Mission: 

Promoting conflict resolution

through the experiences of young people

who are able to uncover a real person within their enemy.

 

 

History

1977:The then Bishop of Arezzo, MonsignorTelesforoCioli, entrusted a few young families with the use of certain church structures and the adjacent village ofRondine(Arezzo, Tuscany), which had been abandoned for many years. The birth of the Community of Rondine(Comunità di Rondine) initiated the reconstruction of this small village. In subsequent years, the base foundation united young people and brought to life two other communities:  The Comunità del Sacro Cuorein 1979and the Comunità Giovanile di Saionein 1984. Rondine became a location for training, especially for young people and families.  It was a welcoming place which provided service to families in difficulty.

1986:Rondine becomes the first experiment altown of conscientious objectors. Shortly thereafter, the ItalianCaritas begins its firstexperimental nationalcommunity ofgirlswho choose to be volunteers in the women's civil service.

1988: The Comunità del Sacro Cuore, following the inspiration of Giorgio La Pira, makes a trip to the Soviet Union.  With the involvement of both the Comunità di Rondine and the Comunità di Saione, they present a musical based on the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, thus passing on a message of dialogue and peace. From that trip important friendships are born.

1990: Creation of the Associazione Rondine.  In subsequent years, it continues to developstrong relationshipswith thenewly formedRussian Federation andthe Associazione Rondine, does their best in activities of solidarity andcultural exchange.

1995: Eruption of the first war in Chechnya. Russian friends of the Association make every effort to bring about an early truce. Feverish but unsuccessful, negotiations are held to commence a 72 hour cease-fire. The Association is credited as a "friend" of both the Russian and Chechen people. General Dudayev makes a solemn promise that, when the war ends, a central square in Grozny will be dedicated to St. Francis, in memory of the work of Italian friends.

1997: TheAssociationdecides toaccept fivestudentsfrom Chechnyaand Russia andgiveslife to the Studentato Internazionale di Rondine (Rondine’s International Student Residence Hall). The Associationchanges its name toRondineCittadella della Pace. The village,stillnot suitable forpermanentoccupancy, begins to berestored. Thefirst residenceof theInternational Student Hallisan apartmentin the cityof Arezzo.

1998: The first expedition of the Association arrives in Georgia (South Caucasus). Following this experience, always following the thread of friendship, the Association’s international horizon expands.  Other students will come from these new territories in theaters of conflict.  Abkhazia (a region, self-proclaimed as independent from Georgia, but not recognized as such), Ingushetia (Russian Federation), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Israel, Palestine, South Ossetia (Russian Federation), Sierra Leone, Macedonia and Lebanon.

2003: In the Sala del Consiglio Comunale of Arezzo (seat of government), in the presence of the mayor of Arezzo and other dignitaries, a young Russian and a young Chechen, are awarded the first two Rondine d’Oro, certificates of completion for studies at Rondine’s International Student Residence Hall.

May 2006: The Association, at the request of theProgetto Culturalefor Italy, during the Conference of the Italian Episcopal Church,organizedthePiazze di Maggio, an international programof eventsbased on the themeof citizenship, at the fifth NationalCongressof Verona.

June 2007: Thanks to the many years of success of the all-male Student Hall and the achievements of the Piazze di Maggio, the Association initiates a project for creation of a-female Student Hall.

September 2007: The women's section of the International Student Hall is officially inaugurated with a series of appointments to women, through a round table, which was attended by The Honorable Rosy Bindi of Elisa Mussa (Memorial Association), Nelida Again (politician committed to the world of cooperation) and Giovanna Gurrieri Ceccatelli (professor at the University of Florence).

April 2008: The Associazione Imprenditori per la Pace (Association of Entrepreneurs, for Peace) is created.

September 2008: Rondine meets with PopeBenedict XVI to announce a projectfor an International Conferenceof the peopleof Caucasus.  The project was incubated in the International Student Hall, after theAugust 2008 conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia and the consequential intervention of Russia.

October 2008: Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, recalls the teachings of his grandfather, during the Teatrotenda Rondine seminar "Witnesses of peace."

May 2009: At the end of the First International Conference on Caucasus, a document outlining 14 points for peace in the Caucasus region is crafted by over 150 people, from a dozen Caucasian nations, who had gathered at La Verna (Arezzo). In the months that follow, the document is delivered to political leaders, diplomats and international religious leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI.

May 2009: Gathering of the Second “Le Piazze di Maggio” Conference, entitled " Irrompere nel futuro."

September 2009-April 2010: UNI4 takes place.  This is an academic laboratory for peace, with participants from four continents. Twelve foreign universities and several Italian universities are in attendance.

May 2010: Gathering of the Third “Le Piazze di Maggio” Conference, entitled “Viedipace."

July 2010: journey of friendship to South Caucasus and Turkey is carried out by a delegation from Rondine. Numerous leaders from political, religious, academic and civilian backgrounds, meet to construct a 14 point document.

October 2010: visit to theCittadella by JoshuaDuBois, head of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Executive Office of the White House and adviser to President Barack Obama.

October 2010: Indian scientist Vandana Shiva and Norwegian scholar Johan Galtung hold a conference in the Teatrotenda Rondine titled "Witnesses ofPeace."

May 2011: LilianaSegre, who witnessed the Holocaust, shares her testimonial at the Arezzo Central Business and Conference Center.

May 2011: Fourth " Le Piazze di Maggio " Conference, entitled “Il mondo dei mondi."