Growing Together: Strategies for Peace
'Growing Together: Strategies for Peace' was the title of the Formation encounter that took place on May 1-3, at the Generalate of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Rome.
The objectives of this encounter were the following: reinforce the identity of the Vides Volunteers as active citizens in the promotion of human rights, especially the right to education; knowledge of the essential elements of the Preventive System as the Salesian educational approach; stimulate the ability to interact positively with different cultures.
Twenty-eight young people participated after following a year-long journey. Now they are preparing to leave for the destinations entrusted to them: Argentina, Mexico, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Philippines, Angola, and Brazil where they will bring a message of peace, a smile, and an embrace.
During these three days, they prepared the 'heart's luggage', that is, the participants were helped to understand the attitudes to assume so that the experience could be lived in a positive way, notwithstanding the difficulties and obstacles that they can inevitably meet.
Sr. Leonor Salazar, Director of Vides International, introduced the encounter by presenting the 'compass' of the Vides Volunteer: observe-listen, discern, decide, and act. Explained to them was the importance of support at a distance to allow the children to grow in their own Nation, guaranteeing some basic rights: nourishment, instruction, basic medical attention, and equally important, play! The participants were invited to develop critical thinking skills, spreading and becoming themselves witnesses of human rights and the right to peace; rights that are duties to which aspire with all one's energy for a global society that is more equal and in solidarity.