On Febreruary, 15th of 2020, the first experience of the Missionary Youth took place in the city of Campinas, bringing the proposal of a humanitarian service experience as an exercise of donation of self for the need of others.
Gathering the youth, that got to know this proposal for the first time, and a group of more experienced missionaries, the action focused on the NGO “Resgatando Valores” (Rescuing Values), a philantropic organization that works with 71 children at social risk in the local community.
By the morning the group carried out in a collective effort in a place close to the NGO, where the native seedlings has been planted months ago, on a slope area near the local creek. The area was full of bushes and the trees were being suffocatted by the grass. Part of the group was dedicated to the management of this space and the children participated in an action with focus on the garbage thrown in the region, supporting the cleansing of the space and collecting recyclable materials.
At the end of the action, the group returned to the shed of the NGO, where they had a snack with the children and shared a moment of prayer and thanksgiving. Some of the volunteers remained in the headquarters all day, supporting the food preparation and the room cleaning. As a fruit of this work, all the volunteers (about 15 people) also shared a vegetarian lunch prepared there.
At the end, the action focused on the entrance of the institution area, where a monthly fair that raises funds would take place the next day, to pay the expenses of water and electricity of the place. With the power of the group’s energy, donations were organized, the floor was washed and the overall atmosphere was harmonized.
Vinícius, a 19 year-old young man who participated in the movement for the first time, shared that the work surprised him and was something that ‘marked’ him in his trajectory. A volunteer by the name of Marina went to her family (husband and two children), and she said the activity lightened a seed within her heart to continue helping. Finally, as a surprise and impulse of the continuity of this work, the group returned to the NGO on Monday (02/17) to bring a donation. Arriving there, they met Karen, one of the young volunteers from Saturday, that also got to know the Missionary Youth for the first time, and she was, two days later, talking to the person in charge of the organization to begin voluntary work there.
Thus, we understand that each encouter, in its simplicity, moves many things in the hearts of the participants. The journeys of the Missionary Youth are held monthly in different cities in the interior of São Paulo. They are free, open and ecumenical meetings. Stay tuned on the webpage of the Fraternity and the Youth for Campaign for Peace to find out more about the upcoming meetings.