28 years of Arsenal

Publish date 29-07-2011

by Redazione Sermig

The Arsenal of Peace turns 28. On August 2, 1983, Ernesto Olivero and his friends entered what was then a ruin. It took several billion old lire to renovate. Madness, a humanly impossible goal for a group of young people. Providence, however, knows his work. "It brought us engineers, architects, bricklayers - Ernesto remembers today - but above all thousands of young people ready to give back time, money, skills, ideas, dreams of change". These are the crumbs that continue to continue the adventure of the Arsenal of Peace and the Arsenals that have been added to Sao Paulo in Brazil and Madaba in Jordan. An adventure that follows the logic of disproportion. Today, like yesterday. Here is what Giovanni Trovati, deputy director of the Press wrote, commenting on the assignment of the former military arsenal of Turin to the young people of Sermig.

Dear friends of the Sermig, to look at you with the eyes of the world I should tell you that you are a little crazy because the undertaking you are about to complete knows impossible. Yet if you had moved according to the logic of the world at this hour you would be one of the many organizations that quietly settle down and with ever greater fatigue keep going. The world can speak of madness, the Christian instead speaks of trust, of faith. Those who have faith never despair. And prayer is your most valid force.
Giovanni Trovati, 23 September 1983

THE MEMORY of Ernesto Olivero:
28 years ago we entered the arsenal for the first time. With today's eyes, we entered history. For the first time, young people had come together to transform a place of war and death into a house of peace. We entered in silence, with the Bible in hand, with a crucifix that our bishop had given us and a book by an unbelieving woman, an ex-partisan commander. In silence, but as a Church, not as a small group. We entered with naivety, purity of heart, simplicity. We had the desire to change the world a little. We had no means, money, possibilities, only a yes that burst inside us. We made him become faithful, steady and slowly, but definitely something happened: an arsenal of war has become Arsenal of Peace. We came in loving man and woman, as they are, without judging. Whites and blacks, believers and non-believers. For everyone, the arsenal has become a home. Today, we thank for August 2, we thank for all the people who believed in it, but especially for those who did not do it, those who put unimaginable obstacles in front of us. They are the ones who taught us to walk despite everything, even with tears in our eyes. This is the path we want to continue on.

L'Arsenale il 1980










See Press Review 1983

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