Dili (East Timor). On 25 February 2023, at Don Bosco gymnasium in Dili Comoro, East Timor, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement organized a fundraising concert with various musical bands, to support travel expenses and participation in WYD in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1 to 6 August 2023.
World Youth Day is an important international event for the spiritual and human growth of young people, to strengthen them in communion with one another and increase their sense of belonging to the Universal Church and to the Salesian Family. Numerous groups belonging to the Dioceses and to the Salesian Youth Movement from all over the world are organizing themselves to prepare for the event both with formation moments and with activities and initiatives to financially support the experience and live it in an aware and responsible way.
To ensure that the young people of the SYM of Timor can also be present at this unique event and, once they return, share the richness of the experience, the Youth Ministry Coordinator of St. Mary D. Mazzarello Province (TIN), Sr. Julia Fernandes de Jesus Marçal, with some young people from the SYM, asked various Timorese bands and singers, some of whom have also performed internationally, to participate in a Fundraising concert.
The first positive response came from the leader of the Familia Klan group, Maun Ametha, who immediately showed himself willing to help “Don Bosco’s young people”, as he himself was a past pupil of the oratory. As a sign of gratitude for what he received as an Oratorian, he offered the sound and lighting system free of charge, worked for the preparation and implementation, and performed with his band without asking for any compensation.
Subsequently, 12 other bands and artists were contacted. With great surprise and joy, the young people and the Sisters found that in almost all the groups there were members who had been part of the SYM, so they gladly accepted saying, “We are happy to receive the proposal from the current members and we are grateful to God for what we received by attending the oratory, for having been animators and, some, past pupils of the School.”
The young people of SYM Timor, with courage and responsibility, carried forward the project facing many challenges, also finding the way open thanks to the generosity and simplicity of the artists. Several sponsors and benefactors have also supported the concert and contributed to the preparation with tents, chairs, food, and in facilitating the management of the evening.
Before the event, 840 tickets were sold at a low price for young people and at a higher price for “VIPs” who also promoted the initiative by bringing them into homes and offices. More tickets were sold that same evening at a higher price. In the end, almost 1,400 tickets were sold, even if not everyone was able to participate.
“Like Mary, I come to serve” was the theme of the evening, inspired by the WYD theme “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39), in which the artist Marvi and the bands performed: The kraken, Gantajo, Juju and friends, Kalvari, Galaxy, familia acustik, new village and Lulik ba Dame, Fr. Aderito orchestra, SDB, from Baucau, and groups with cultural dances from Timor Furak and Wehali.
The concert took place successfully, thanks also to the presenters, one of whom gave up a day’s work so as not to miss the event. All attendees enjoyed the concert, which was held for the first time as an SYM and received great support from the local police and all who contributed generously. To thank the “special donors”, the FMA and SDB Youth Ministry Delegates, together with the young people of the SYM, presented a “Certificate of Appreciation”.
Thanks also went to the parents of the members of the national SYM coordination, for the trust given to their children and for allowing them to learn to serve and to be formed to be “young apostles for the young”.