Young people all over the world are active and committed. In Germany children made chocolates to bring joy; in South Africa young people pitted their wits against artificial intelligence. And to keep it that way, there were workshops in Argentina for all those who want to help and inspire young people.
Bringing joy with God
Just over twenty children and almost twenty kilograms of chocolate and nougat: this was the situation on a Sunday afternoon in March in the congregation of Söllingen, Germany. The motto was “Bringing joy with God”. With help from their teachers the children made chocolates that afternoon. For this chocolate balls were filled with nougat, chocolate, or tiramisu. They were then placed in a hot chocolate bath and decorated with sprinkles. The chocolates were carefully nested in pretty boxes that the children had made while they waited for the chocolates to dry. And songs matching the motto were also rehearsed and sung: “We have joy to give away”.
Young people versus ChatGPT
Holy Week was the theme of an event that brought together young people from the Grassy Park district in South Africa at the end of March. This involved questions such as “How can we prepare for the coming of Jesus?” or “How is Jesus denied in modern times?” The young people answered the questions and then compared them to the results from ChatGPT. They found that AI can answer questions but cannot tell you how to live your faith. The young people concluded that they will continue to ask these questions of the Holy Spirit.
Well-prepared for the visit of the Chief Apostle
At the end of March, around 200 young people from the congregations of Aurangabad, Ghugus, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Jalna, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, and Rajasthan in India met. They wanted to prepare for the visit of the Chief Apostle to Pune on 12 November 2023 and to get to know each other, exchange ideas, and strengthen their faith. They met at the Don Bosco Youth Centre in Koregoan Park in Pune for the weekend. The event opened with a prayer and a praise and worship session. The youth were excited to have District Apostle Mark Woll and District Apostle Helper David Devaraj with them.
Some of the young people, together with the Apostles, visited a hospital for people with mental disabilities to help pick up litter and clear the premises of excess vegetation, which was harbouring snakes and beginning to pose a safety hazard for the residents. Later, there was a session on mental health awareness. Two senior psychologists, Dr Rupali Shinde and Dr A Shejul shared their experiences and insights on various mental health issues. They gave the youth many new perspectives on mental health and were also kind enough to provide an open help line to all present.
On Sunday there was a joint service with the Maharashtra and Telangana congregations at the Elpro Mall Auditorium. This was followed by a showcasing of various cultural performances through dance, song, and theatre.
For the young people
To ensure that more great events for the young people can take place in the future, District Apostle Enrique Minio invited the brothers and sisters from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay who are responsible for youth work to Las Catonas in Argentina. Ninety ministers, youth leaders, and youth representatives gathered on the weekend of 22 and 23 April for the conference. In workshops, they learned how to strengthen bonds or how to use social media responsibly. Planning youth-oriented services and events was also on the agenda. The District Apostle conducted a divine service on Sunday for the congregation of Las Catonas and the guests from the various countries.