24th July to 3rd August 2015, Tagaytay (Philippines)
by Evelina Manola (EKFE Greece)
Have you ever felt like the whole world can fit into a small place? That exactly was my feeling since the very first moment of the Global Training Session of IYCS and IMCS, which took place in Tagaytay, in the Philippines from 24th July to 3rd August 2015. The theme of the training session was “Salt of the Earth, Light of the World – Students Building the Kingdom of God” and it certainly had an impact on the lives of the young Catholic students that attended it.
During the sessions, we had the opportunity to learn a lot from experts and hear testimonies from people who shared their experience with us. We also had a day out where we – divided into small groups – got to visit various activities running by local organizations in an effort to fight the different forms of poverty and vulnerability. Last but not least, one of the most powerful tools that was used in order to empower the students was the sharing and exchanging among ourselves. Very often we had the opportunity to share our experience, knowledge and wisdom especially concerning crucial issues such as corruption, conflicts, youth participation, disparity, education and environment. Coming from different backgrounds and cultures, we all shared a breeding ground where everybody could express thoughts and views related to local, national and regional realities and even come up with ideas and solutions on how to make this world a better place.
The training session was followed by the World Council of IYCS and the World Assembly of IMCS. These are the higher decision bodies of the two movements that during their sessions discussed about several issues and elected the new International Teams. In the International Secretariat of IYCS, Richard Francis Apeh (Nigeria) was elected to be the Secretary General and fr. Charles Menezes (India) the Ecclesiastical Assistant. The new International Team of IMCS will consist of the President Edouard Karoue (Togo), the Secretary General Evelina Manola (Greece) and the Ecclesiastical Assistant fr. Masawe Fratern.
Besides the training and decision making parts, some of the most important and priceless moments of that meeting were the informal hours we spent with delegates from other countries. Especially during the “Global Village” and the regional thematic evenings, we had the chance to encounter different cultures and getting to know a little bit of their tradition, their food, their dances and their songs.
Meeting and working for a common vision with people coming from all over the world is certainly a blessing and something that none of us will ever forget. Finally, I believe that trying to be the salt of the earth in our personal daily lives doesn’t take much, yet it can make a huge difference in the world. After all, we are the Catholic Youth and we are everywhere. ?f we ourselves don’t give the light to others, who will?
Evelina Manola, National Coordinator of IMCS EKFE Greece