Young UK catholics gear up for World Youth Day
Fredy Gallego (right) works with our partner to spread messages of peace amongst the young people of Bogota.
Cesar Lopez, a CAFOD partner from Colombia, with his famous AK47 guitar.
Whilst millions of young Catholics descend on Rio to celebrate World Youth Day, a smaller, but equally as energetic crowd from the UK, Ireland and Europe are preparing to put their faith into action at Aylesford for World Youth Day at Home.
“WYD@Home” starts tomorrow, 26 July and will be in keeping with the carnival atmosphere of Rio with live bands, international speakers and moving liturgy, all at the beautiful grounds of Aylesford Priory in Kent.
Joining in the festivities will be CAFOD’s partners from Colombia, César Lopéz, Fredy Gallego and Carmenza Muños Sáenz, who will share their experience of social justice, peace building and young leadership. In addition, César and Fredy are renowned musicians and can be seen live on stage on Saturday afternoon.
Cesar said: “It’s an honour to be in the UK and meeting young people here. I want to thank everyone for their support of our peace work in Colombia. Art and music are transforming how people in Colombia think about violence. I really hope that my visit will light up a flame in young people and inspire them to work for social justice.”
Fredy, a rapper and graffiti artist, who will be setting up a graffiti wall at the festival, said: “People might think of rap and graffiti as for criminals but I use this art to change mindsets. I might not be able to bring peace to Colombia but I can help the young people I work with to change their lives. They do not have to follow their peers and neighbours into a life of crime but can use the power of their words and actions for good.”
An enthusiastic team of CAFOD Young Leaders will also be in attendance; running workshops and social actions throughout the weekend to keep the masses entertained, inspired and informed. Laurence Davighi, one of CAFOD’s Gap Year volunteers and a member of our WYD@Home team, said:
World Youth Day in all of its various incarnations promotes the truth that despite our many cultural, racial, national and religious differences, we all share a common and sacred humanity. This truth is the bedrock of why CAFOD does the work it carries out. It is easy to push the poor beyond our compassion if we believe, in any way, that they are different from us. CAFOD’s work encourages us to reject this falsehood and understand that everyone in the world is equal in the eyes of God and deserving of a full and healthy life. After some reflection I found it fascinating that the ‘hearts’ of CAFOD and World Youth Day share so much in common.
Weekend and day passes are still available for WYD@Home. Sign up for here>>