“Living together for something that can reinforce the good in the world is unifying and strengthening; it encourages us to keep pushing toward a more united world,” says Igor who is one of the Youth for a United World from the Northeast Region of Brazil.
What is Desafio?
Igor explains: “Desafio (Challenge) is three days of encounter, celebrating and sharing many of the projects that we Youth for a United World in this region (with its seven states) have been bringing ahead in our cities. Every year around 350 young people meet at Mariapolis Santa Maria in Igrassu, Pernambuco. The programme includes discussions for delving deeper into topics of interest, reporting on the projects and other activities that have taken place in different cities, several workshops and forums. It was very helpful to learn more about some of the social projects that are carried out by the Focolare, and the concrete help that we were able to offer during those days, as a sign of love to the local people.”
It was quite a demanding schedule . . .
“Obviously,” says Igor “there were also evenings and other moments for games and recreation. One evening is dedicated to ecumenical prayer for peace. This is always one of the most well received moments in the programme. You feel that we are all connected and that it would be enough to pause and make room for prayer which immediately creates like a spiritual bridge that unites us to God and with one another.”
This year you held the 4th edition with the slogan: Go towards others. What were the results?
“What was most evidenced was the importance of relationships: in the family, in society, in the virtual world and in the various initiatives and social projects. The great novelty this year was a project that we launched some time ago. Everyone felt quite strongly about this particular project which we named First the least. It involved the groups in each city in discerning who the least were so we could start living for them. Many concrete initiatives in favour of those most in need were born from this effort in several places in the Northeast Region of Brazil. Igor concluded: “Desafio is the moment in which we engage the greatest possible number of young people in building a more united and fraternal world.”