In many parts of the world young people experience conditions of particular hardness, in which it is difficult to open the space for real life options, in the absence of margins, in the exercise of freedom. Let us think of young people in a situation of poverty and exclusion; in those who grow up without parents or family, or do not have the possibility of going to school; in the street children of so many peripheries; in the unemployed youth, abandoned and migrant youth; in those who are victims of exploitation, trafficking and slavery; in boys admitted by force into criminal gangs or irregular militias; inunderage wives or girls forced to marry against their will. There are too many in the world who pass directly from childhood to adulthood with a burden of responsibility that they have not chosen. Often, girl-child, young women and women face even greater difficulties compared to their peers. (Preparatory document for the 2018 Youth Synod).
The younger generations are characterized today by the relationship with modern communication technologies and what is usually called “virtual world”, but also have great and real effects. All this offers possibilities of access to a series of opportunities that previous generations did not have, and at the same time presents risks. However, it is of great importance to highlight how the experience of relationships through technology, structures the conception of the world, of the reality and personal relationships. This is what pastoral activity should respond to, which needs to develop an adequate culture. (Preparatory document for the Synod of Youth 2018)
She is part of the Vocational Pastoral Team of the Vicariate of Guapi, formed by religious and laity. She mentions that they have a common work material for the formation of young people and expresses a positive experience of teamwork.
Youth group, made up of youth from the villages.
She has integrated young people into the activities she performs: when she visits the school canteens, the young women have activities with the children, they accompany them to visit the sick and take communion for them. She sees some changes in the youth, for example, attending the Eucharist on Sunday.
She helps them to do the tasks and gives English classes
At the end of the academic year, we usually have a vocational day before the girls go for their vacations, but this time we had to have it in advance, because 20 girls from different mission areas participated. The main theme of the camp was the "Call", together with the sharing of "life experiences" of the Sisters.
As a way of preparation for the day, those in charge of "Snehanjali Hostel", Talita and Arpita, the leaders of the groups, Puriel & Anju, had a meeting on the 14th of March.
The day began on 17th March at 3:00 p.m. with the lighting of the lamp, a prayer of introduction, songs, reading and reflection of the Scriptures, which set the tone for what would come next. Then, we had an 'icebreaker' dynamic, which was directed by two girls from the hostel, so they all felt relaxed and enthusiastic about immersing themselves in the new adventure.
Then, Toinette & Puriel, shared the beginnings of the Missionary Society, that is, the first Sisters, the difficulties they encountered in the process of adapting to the mission, because they did not know the language, culture, customs, etc. Somehow, we believe, that this sharing has helped the girls to understand, the simplicity of the life of the Society.
The morning sessions ended with personal interviews with Toinette, Puriel and Anju. We had the opportunity to meet some girls who shared with us and they were also assured of our help if necessary, as we are at their disposal.
The afternoon session began with a sharing of Puriel about the two years of experience of her stay in Spain, where she spoke about her "service in the community of Las Rosas, studies of spirituality (courses), of Spanish language, interaction with groups in the parish, and an enriching international and intercultural experience.
After that, Anju talked about various experiences lived with people from different places of our mission, where she experienced their generosity, kindness, hospitality and family spirit ... that created an impact on the girls.
Before finishing the day, each of them had to give their evaluation of the day, to help us for the future. We ended with a final prayer and an "imposition of hands" by the Sisters.
We feel that these Days were a means to start something with the aim of having a follow-up with some concrete actions.
Young people who have started their updating formation in the Congo.