On April 15, 1965, Fr. Barbieri founded COOPI. This is where a 50-year journey begins, during which COOPI and Italian international cooperation with all the many voices will grow and become together. But the history of COOPI begins before 1965, as early as 1961 when the young Jesuit Vincenzo Barbieri was sent by his superiors to study in Lyons at the Faculty of Theology, in view of a future departure for Chad as a missionary. In France, he meets a much more lively and open cultural environment than the one that permeated the Italian province in the years preceding the Second Vatican Council and comes into contact with international lay movements engaged for years in voluntary work in developing countries. In 1962 Barbieri refused to leave as a missionary and returned to Milan with the intention of training volunteers ready to leave for the south of the world. It is he who introduces the lay component into the missions.
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