In the mid 1940’s, the Second World War had left rubble and wounds behind. The idea of creating a cultural and community centre emerged from the need for rebuilding and reconciliation. The centre would have allowed people – divided by the conflict until a few months before – to meet. Already in the summer of 1946, in Prali, pastor Tullio Vinay spoke about the need to build in the Waldensian Valleys a centre that expressed the values of Christian agape and that represented the face of Christ “engraved in the rocks of our mountains” (words used in the first Agape’s manifesto). Leonardo Ricci’s project gave the centre its peculiar and modern design. From the beginning something unexpected happened: hundreds of volunteers from different countries, with different political and religious views, took part in the building. The painful consequences of the world war that ended just a few years before were overcome through the shared work and the ideal of Christ’s agape.
The young people, who in a few years were able to construct with enthusiasm and hard work the structure that is still hidden among the larches above Ghigo di Prali, were camped in the location where today you can see the new temple of Prali.
Form the 1950’s onwards, Agape has been a place of fruitful social, political and religious debate, both national and international. Many camps have been dedicated to the dialogue between Europe and Africa, the contacts with socialist countries, the Middle East issue as well as gender and sexual orientation.
Today the centre is still going along this path; however it also organizes camps for minors and training courses about the educational relationship and implements non-formal education techniques.