Chiara Amirante: A Journey to Hell in the Heart of Christianity

23 February 2020

Chiara Amirante, writer, journalist and television personality created a street mission after her recovery: she has founded the Nuovi Orizzonti (New Horizons) community to help street children, girls sold into prostitution, single mothers, drug addicts to a better life.

Chiara Amirante started her work in 1991 alone, without any organizational or material background. She started talking to the street children, alcoholics, prostitutes, alcohol and drug addicts, living near the Rome Termini station.. She listened to the stories of their lives, to the problems they cannot face alone. Her main goal was to organize a community of those young left alone with their problems without any kind of support. She did not reach out only to the children living in the streets, but also to those, who were just released from prison. By teaching of the Gospels she helped the people stuck in the periphery to fit in and start a new life.

The people outcasted by the majority due to their lifestyle happily valued and appreciated that there was someone listening to them. Very soon, Amirante was joined by helpers. The Community Nuovi Orizzonti (New Horizons) was founded, and opened its first shelter in Rome in 1994. In the last almost thirty years the community has opened approximately 230 centers both inside and outside Italy, helping hundreds of thousands of people per year, and reach out to a million young people in need of help.

Amirante has stated that her community is not a rehab. Their goal is to bring the good news of the Risen Christ to people, who are in difficult, seemingly no-way-out situations. The Community has been officially recognized in February 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.

One of the main supporters of Nuovi Orizzonti is the world-famous singer, Andrea Bocelli.

The leader of the Catholic spiritual movement spoke about her work done in the last decades at a conference held in the Vatican last November. She said: “Here, in Rome, in the heart of Christianity I made a journey through hell: I met thousands of drug and alcohol addicts, along with youngs making a living from prostitution.” In her speech she many times referred to the thought of Pope Francis, that we shall hear the cry of the poor. Amirante added: “They really are the beggars of love.” The leader of the community also mentioned the new, challenging phenomena, such as internet-addictions, which – as she sees – falsifies the understanding of reality. She experiences that the virtual world traps the young and, in many cases, it leads to aggression. Meet Chiara Amirante on the Hungexpo! Do not forget to register!