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Formation camp for volunteers

Guarapuava (Brasil)

In the Province of Nossa Senhora Aparecida, Porto Alegre (Brazil), the 2nd formation camp for VIDES volunteers took place from July 17 to 24. They were welcomed by the community of Guarapuava. The group was made up of 10 young people, between 18 and 35 years, who wanted to experience voluntary work for a short time and, at the same time, prepare to undertake work that will create a culture of solidarity. During the week the activities centred round the four pillars of the VIDES method of formation: spirituality, study/formation, group experience and practical work.
Each morning the prayer was prepared so as to introduce the theme of the day, so that during the day it was possible to reflect on what they saw in the community. In the evening the prayer was designed to allow a personal meeting with the Lord.
The young people were divided into three groups.
Each group had a role that they fulfilled responsibly and this allowed them to build rich and respectful friendships among themselves. The experience in Vila São Luis was very enriching. This is an old shanty-town of Guarapuava where about 180 families live and where economic and social deprivation is evident. Here the young people organised various activities with the children, adolescents, young people and women. During the day they met many people, in spite of the intense cold. Good work was done with the young gang members of the area. They became more open every day and it was possible to undertake a variety of activities that even led to moments of reflection. Experience on the streets is always very personal and leaves a deep mark on the volunteers, an uncomfortable disturbance, something that pushes one to change a situation that is at times unjust to persons who are not to blame. Every volunteer took on a commitment to help which they will continue throughout the year. Meanwhile, they are already preparing for another stage in the Formation Camp.

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