Youth Animators advocate for change
- Winifred Worealevi, Catholic FM, Volunteer
Lae: Thirty-two Youth Animators in the Diocese of Lae have taken on the challenge to advocate for change in themselves and their parish youths.
They shared these sentiments in a Youth Animators workshop that was held on Thursday, 8th August 2019 in the Diocese of Lae at Holy Spirit Parish. The workshop was organized by the Youth Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands together with the Youth office in the Diocese.
Present at the workshop was Bp Rozario Menezes, Vicar General Fr Arnold Schimdt, the Youth Chaplin Fr. Roland Matoyi, the Diocesan Youth Chairperson Noel Apul and CBC Youth and SOCOM Secretary for PNG & SI, Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb.
The workshop had three sessions and focused on the Youth Ministry in the parishes and on the theme of the Year of theLaity " A Call to Holiness" and how as Youth Animators we can respond tothis call in their daily living; Respect and Responsibility and on the social issues that young people are faced withtoday. The issue of ‘Abuse’ and the effects on women, families, communitiesand society was highlighted and discussed; Sacraments of the Catholic Church and the need to prepare our young people for the Sacrament of Marriage.
There were lively discussions between the participants and what was presented by Fr Ambrose. The most discussed issue was that of ‘Abuse’ that is affecting several young people in Papua New Guinea. Most of theparticipants were very vocal at this session, as they are seeing the youthsat their parish level being drowned into to the so-called norms of PNGwhere Abuse and Violence has become a daily living routine in theircommunities.
These topics had inspired the youth leaders to look for ways to curb these social issues and how they can advocate for change in their communities. They discussed ways to build on their faith as Catholic and as citizens of PNG.
In his closing remarks, Fr Roland mentioned that this workshop was a blessing as it was an eye opener for him as well as the Youth Animators to better tackle their role as Animators.
“Youth Animators in their parishes are to energize and empower its youths, to be vibrant young men and women who are able to stand for the Catholic Faith and follow the right path”, he said.
Fr Ambrose emphasized the need to have more females as youth Animators. He stressed the need for purity of young people.
“As digital natives’ young people are exposed to a lot of materials on the internet, which may lead the young into activities of violence and abuse. Youth animators need to be credible and witness to respect and dignity for young people”, he said.
The youth animators were from the different parishes of the Diocese and said they were ready to share their newfound knowledge with others.