Japan-Philippines. From 7 to 17 February 2020, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Vides Japan and Vides Philippines, Sister Annecie Audate, General Director of VIDES International, organized two seminars on the theme “Promoting Solidarity Fraternity in Justice and Peace: VIDES Volunteers for Justice and Peace.”
In line with what Pope Francis points out that “The Holy House is the home of the young, because here the Virgin Mary, the young woman full of grace, continues to speak to the new generations, accompanying each one in the search for their own vocation”, the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, strengthened by the Salesian spirit that animates them since their foundation have welcomed and supported young people in every part of the world.
In particular, the FMA Institute has been present with the vitality of the Salesian charism in Asia since 1922, with 356 communities in 22 countries. And following the path of solidarity and service for the most needy, VIDES Japan (the first VIDES in Asia) was born in the East in 1994 and the following year, VIDES Philippines.
The two seminars, which involved the Salesian Sisters and the local youth, were an opportunity to remember and promote youth volunteering as a formation tool for the construction of a fraternal society in solidarity with respect for human rights and the common good in favor of sustainable development.
In this spirit, a day was also organized in the Philippines during which VIDES Philippines brought comfort and basic necessities to the victims of the Taal Volcano.
Sr. Annecie was able to see how solidarity guides VIDES Japan in its many works in support of the weakest population. A significant example of this are activities for migrant children who have difficulties with the Japanese language and need help to integrate into the school.
Therefore, VIDES young people become protagonists of youth ministry, accompanied and guided by the Salesian spirit, free to find ever new ways of solidarity and justice with creativity and audacity moved by the words of Pope Francis: “God is discovered by walking. If you are not on the way to do something, to work for others, to bear witness, to do good, you will never listen to the Lord.”
The Seminars in both the Philippines and Japan were held in a participatory atmosphere with the belief that “The real name of love is Solidarity“, solidarity that is transformed into concrete actions in the area. The enthusiasm of the young people and the FMA present helped to consolidate the desire to build, as the VIDES Vision explicitly states, “a fraternal and supportive society founded on respect for the dignity of each person and which sees young people as active citizens in constant search for the common good.”
The meetings were also an occasion to thank Sr. Josephine Carrasco, who accompanied VIDES Philippines for 11 years, as she welcomed Sr. Imelda David, the new Delegate of Vides Philippines, and to Sr. Paola Takako, who with her young spirit, has accompanied VIDES Japan for 25 years.