(ANS – Addis Ababa) – Last weekend the Salesian vice province of Ethiopia-Eritrea (AET) held two significant events connected with youth: a refresher course for Salesians and a meeting of young volunteers involved in the vice province.
On April 16 and 17, 23 Salesians met at Addis Ababa for a refresher course on youth ministry, organized by Fr. Asfaha Tesfay, delegate for youth ministry and animated by Fr. Dominic Sequeira, from the Youth Ministry Department in Rome
Welcoming those taking part, Fr. Genaro Gegantoni, superior of the vice province, expressed the satisfaction that the Salesian Educational and Pastoral Plan (SEPP) of the vice province had been updated at the recently concluded provincial chapter.
The aim of the meeting, held in a spirit of discussion and dialogue by the representatives of the various houses in the vice province, was to identify the necessary criteria to create educational communities capable of providing an efficient educational project.
In the light of the recent Synod on Africa, some of the challenges that emerged during the discussions were to give serious thought to study the local situations and contexts, a need for greater synergy at all levels, the formation of the laity and the strengthening of their involvement, greater involvement in the local Church, and greater teamwork in our ministry.
One of the concrete resolutions of the meeting was to organize and strengthen the Salesian Youth Movement in the vice province, to form and train animators, to build youth leaders, and to bring together the young people from the various settings of the province for a national youth convention.
The second event on April 18 was the first time that 20 volunteers from the different NGOs working in the vice province came together to know and discuss their presence and mission. This was organized by Fr. Emmanuele Vezzoli, who is in charge of voluntary service.
In the course of the meeting Fr. Vezzoli and Fr. Sequeira invited the young people to see the real meaning of voluntary service from a Salesian point or view. They both pointed out that it is based more on knowing how to contribute by “being” and not so much by “doing,” and in being able to inspire and empower the local young people.
During the meeting the volunteers also had time to share their rich experiences, to study the challenges that emerge from their involvement in the Salesian mission and the aspects that need to be improved at provincial and local level. In the concluding Holy Mass the invitation to all of them was to live their lives as volunteers as God’s plan for them.