Summertime is the season when students are searching for a job, but the Summerjob project is not exactly the same thing. It took place on June 29, 2014 – July 6, 2014 with 139 young people from throughout the Czech Repbulic. The week-long project, which has been taking place every year for five years, by the young people of the Focolare Movement, takes place on the city’s peripheries and rurul provinces. During the winter months they research the local site and work with mayors, bishops, pastors and residents to identify the best way to help those who are in need.
The 2014 Summerjob called Where The Work Takes On A New Dimension, was held near Brumov, in the northwest region of the country where the young people gave a hand to 90 families in six villages. The tasks varied: chopping and piling wood for the winter, cutting grass, painting windows, cleaning stables, barns and barn lofts, helping farmers in the fields and gardens and strengthening relationships throughout the community. But Summerjob is not only work. In the daytime the town hall was transformed into a canteen for the young people who were then offered temporary lodging at a school building; in the evening it was transformed into a meeting hall. There were sporting and cultural events, theatrical performances, concerts and an evening on the 1960s and more. The spiritual dimension was never missing. The local Summerjob sites had several abandoned churches that were transformed into “cathedrals” with daily Mass animated by the young people and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the evenings involving also the local residents. In order to maintain the contact that has begun the event will continue to be held in the same region for three years, then it will move on to other regions.
The impressions shared by the young people were all very meaningful: “This is my first time here,” Pavel recounts, “and I admit that I was a bit perplexed at the large number of workers and the work itself. The big surprise for me was that this kind of work can be enriching, even though there is no salary, especially because of the relationships among the young people and the local residents.” Kristina states: “I came here to learn something new and to receive a kind of training in the art of loving everyone. I wanted to try to help someone else. In the end you’re the one who receives. You learn to give.” Martin, who has taken part in all five editions of Summerjob says that he came to “take a break from the office. This rest is better than being at the seashore: I know a lot of young people and help a lot of people.”
Summerjob has also caught the attention of the media: Czech national television did a brief report on the daily news and a photo gallery on its website, and a few articles were published in some daily newspapers.