B. SOUTHERN AFRICA SUB REGIONAL SESSION
Learning and reflections:
i. Workshop statistics:
Venue: Lesotho Girl Guides Association, Maseru-Lesotho
Date: 6-10 January 2014
Countries in attendance: Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa
No. of participants: 20 students, 2 Animators, 1 Chaplain (10 Females, 13 males)
ii. Opening Mass: Celebrated by the Archbishop of Maseru, Most Rev. Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, OMI. In his homily he talked about young people and the New Evangelization
– To be true evangelizers, we must first internalize th great commandment of love. Recognizing that God is love, it did not say that “God is lovable or that God is loving”; it says God is love! We as children of God must have the characteristics of our Father – we must love. By loving, we give!
– You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving. When we give things to others because we do not need those things, is that love? No!
– Love makes us evangelizers. We remember that evangelization has two very important expressions – it is a commandment and it is a commission.
– A commandment: “Come follow me…”
– A commission: “Go make disciples…”
– How far can we follow and how far should we go? To the ends of the earths. That is the map – the ends of the earth. This is the best time to be evangelizers – the best time to be missionaries. We are commissioned to reach the ends of the earth in a new way with the same Gospel. That is the New Evangelization
– Being evangelizers we are called to five things
1. To believe – in Jesus
2. To belong – to the family of God, the Church
3. To become – like Jesus
4. To behave – like Jesus
5. To be a witness to the Kingdom of God.
As Evangelizers, we should
– be humble: think less of oneself
– Think commonly: not being individualistic
– Think eternally: beyond the here and now
– Stop making excuses for not going out to evangelize
iii. Expectations sharing
– We first started with formation of committees on Time keeping, Secretariat, Entertainment, Internal Affairs, Liturgy, Health, External Affairs, and Declaration. The participants then shared their expectations and fears that includes
– Spiritual enlightenment and growth.
– Networking and new friends.
– Critical evaluation and assessment of our beliefs, doctrines and practices
– Getting to know more on New Evangelization and how youths can take active part
– Getting to know about the YCS structure and how the YCS is active at International Level
– Learning from the experiences of other countries
– The activities YCS is undertaking at International level and how they relate to the local Level
– The discussion may take a “business as usual” way which hinders critical approach to issues and growth.
– Poor time keeping
– Returning home without any written workshop materials
– Inferiority complex that could hinder full and productive participations of some delegates
– Lack of communication and practical follow up actions after the workshop
– The final action plan may not be relevant to YCS in my country
– Fear of one’s ideas being criticized
iv. Getting to know each other
Participants shared their basic information by designing a creative “Facebook” profile on A4 size papers. The profile contained information such as name, nickname, date of birth, places visited, likes, best food, contact addresses, what’s on your mind, etc. The participants interacted with one another as they went around reading what is on each person’s profile.
After this, there were some other games for bonding and getting to know each other better.
v. Getting to know the IYCS
Facilitated by the sub-regional coordinator – Benson Makusha
– The International Young Catholic Students(IYCS) also known as International Young Christian Students has its roots in the development of several YCS national movements in the late 1920’s which grew in the spirit of Specialized Catholic Action movements that were inspired by Joseph Cardjin (founder of the Young Christian Workers)
– The international coordination was founded in 1946
– IYCS aims to evangelize and transform the student milieu through forming students and encouraging them to look at the world from the perspective of the poor, with a commitment to global solidarity, freedom, justice and peace. The movement enables a meeting between the young person and Jesus Christ in order to overcome the dualism between faith and life, and has its foundation a spirituality of action, which always starts from a deep analysis and faith reflection on the reality.
– It is formative Movementaimed at transforming themselves and the society they live in.
– It is a lay Movementthat promotes active participation of students in the life of the Church.
– It is aMovement engaged in Global issues playing an active role within the United Nations (UN) System.
– An International Movement present in 7 continental regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, North America and the Pacific)
– The IYCS spirituality is “the spirit with which we do things, because we believe that it is the way that most enables us to encounter God”. IYCS spirituality identifies three truths which are Truth of Life, Truth of Faith and Truth of Method. These are also known as the See, Judge, and Act
• See: We must see a concrete experience; we must see concretely, critically and deeply, analyze it and x-ray its context and causes.
• Judge: We will confront the problem with experience of faith, examining it in the light of our relationship with God. Then identify how these challenge our own values and priorities.
• Act: The actionthat will remove, or at least minimize this contradiction. It is here, in this spirit – filled action, the finally major formof YCS spirituality that we believe we encounter God most profoundly.
vi. Psychosocial Conflictanalysis
The tool was applied similar way we did at the sub regional session for West Africa Sub region. However, the case study here was about conflict between outgoing executive members and the National team of Lesotho YCS.
Pope John Paul II Podium- The podium was erected during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Lesotho in 1989. This podium has great significance to people of Lesotho; a symbol of God’s blessings and a unifying site for the people.
Lesotho House of assembly- participants were introduced to how the parliament functions, the sitting arrangements, significance of symbols e.g the Maze, the order of authority etc. It was a good time at the parliament as the students had a chance to question on the contemporary issues that were taking centre stage in Lesotho. The visit also opened up the minds of the students to the power the parliament has and what role they have to play in influencing processes.
viii. Other topics covered during the session include:
– Solidarity and Subsidiarity for peace and development in Southern Africa,
– The Joy of Evangelization « celebrating our Catholic Faith»,
– Reconciliation, Justice and Peace in Africa; students stand up! (focus on Africae Munus),
– The role of Chaplains and Animators in student accompaniment today!
– Networking and Advocacy – Introduction to IYCS Global Campaign