Guwahati (India) The young people of the Auxilium Youth Movement (AYM) of Mother of the Church Province (ING) met on 9 September 2020 to experience the first Youth Day online – due to the Covid-19 pandemic – on the theme Save our environment.
The festival, organized by the Provincial Youth Ministry Team, was preceded by a Campaign launched on 24 August 2020 with the slogan “Together we can! Save our environment”, with the aim of motivating young people to become “Eco-Influencers,” and to stimulate the Educating Communities in accepting Pope Francis’ invitation to take care of our Common Home .
Over 300 young people from the ING Province Schools and university students joined the Campaign. The winner is a student from Auxilium College in Udalguri who urged his classmates to join him for an environmental cleanup campaign. Together they planted trees, collected and landfilled plastic waste, cleaned places such as parks, playgrounds, municipal spaces. In second place was a student from Tangla’s Auxilium School. She involved other young people in planting small trees in their locality and in keeping the environment clean.
At the Virtual Festival there were more than 600 young people present via Zoom and YouTube. The Provincial, Sr. Alphonsa Kurisingal, the Provincial Vicar, Sr. Lydia Komuhra, the Coordinator for Youth Ministry of the PCI Interprovincial Conference, Sr. Molly Elizabeth, and Sr. Catherine Kannampuzha, Provincial Councilor for YY, welcomed the participants. Also present from Rome were Sister Runita Galve Borja, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, and Sister Lolia Annie, her Collaborator.
The Provincial greeted the young people and encouraged them to become ‘agents’ to save Mother Earth. She also encouraged the FMA to carry out the mission among the young with renewed enthusiasm, facing the challenges of accompaniment.
Sister Runita Borja then urged all the participants to live a life full of ‘Grace’ and to be people of ‘Grace’, to save the environment. She also encouraged young people to choose to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness and concluded by quoting the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Sister Molly Elizabeth, inviting all to become protagonists of safeguarding the environment, quoted Saint Teresa of Calcutta with the sentence: “I can do things that you cannot, you can do things that I cannot; together we can do great things”, while Sister Catherine Kannampuzha brought some practical suggestions to help build an eco-compatible environment.
In her talk, Sister Lolia Annie, the main speaker, encouraged the young people to become the protagonists of environmental change. Through a few questions, she urged them to have a clear vision and big dreams, to implement concrete changes in the world. She concluded with these words: “Dear young friends, let us create a world in which the environment does not need to be protected, where all living and inanimate beings can live in peaceful harmony with each other”.
Later, the winner of the Save Our Environment Campaign had the opportunity to share the experience related to his project. Young people also had a time to interact with each other online. The webinar ended with thanks to all the participants and to the team that organized and coordinated this new festival with young people who have become protagonists in their own small way of environmental change, giving visibility to the concept that “Together we can!”.