The United World Week in Manila and in other locations has been full of activities inspired by a spirit of solidarity and sharing
While the “Be the Bridge” event was unfolding in Jerusalem, we, the Youth for a United World from the Philippines, were engaged in preparing United World Week activities in Manila. The link-up with the Holy Land was the starting point for a week which was full of events. There were 10 on-going “fragments of fraternity”; this is how the Youth for a United World describe initiatives for the United World Project. These took place in Manila, Baguio, a northern city and in some other cities.
The week started with a party. We called it “Bridge” in order to recall our desire to build unity with everyone. We linked-up, initially with the event in Jerusalem and then with young people in different cities of the Philippines. At the end, we assured one another of our full support for the variety of activities ranging from feeding programmes to environmental actions, to visiting hospitals and the less fortunate. Three hundred and seventy-nine young people enrolled in these activities in Manila.
Many young people supported a children’s feeding programme at “Sulyap ng Pag-asa”, located in the poor and crowded suburbs of Quezon City, Metro Manila. This is an on-going regular commitment. Others went to Sinag Hospital, where they discovered the great importance of spending time with patients, especially the poorest ones. They left the hospital with a new outlook on life. Another group visited “Boys’ Town”, a home for hundreds of street children, run by the Department of Welfare. These young people met with 147 children and teenagers aged between 8 and 17 years old. Others went to “Munting Tahanan ng Nazareth”, a care centre for people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. Another group went to Marillac Hills, a centre that offers assistance to young women who have been victims of abuse. Due to the growing trust between those at the care centre and the young people, males have now been allowed to participate in the visits.
In addition to these social actions we have also carried out ecological activities, workshops and other activities at the Tramo Social Center (Pasay, Metro Manila), at Tambo (Paranaque, Metro Manila) and at La Union in the northern part of the Philippines.
At the end of the United World Week, we all gathered for another meeting which we called “Bridge 2.0: A unity project”. Most of us who had taken part in the activities were present. The time had come for each one of us to take up a commitment for the future. To do this, we placed our signature on a large bulletin board. We specified the field through which we chose to commit ourselves and so become a “bridge for a united world”. We didn’t have to think twice – we went straight for it!