The Genfest Season
Before, during and after the main event of Genfest in Manila, a lot of other Local Genfest’s were held all over the world, like in Cuba or Nigeria. Here there’s a summary of some of the events that have happened during July and August.
From 27th to 29th July, 90 youth from all over Angola participated in the Genfest in Huambo (the city is located about 220 km E from Benguela and 600 km SE from the capital city, Luanda), located in the center of the country, in order to make it easier for the youth to participate. Workshops, dances, experiences, concrete actions and a talent’s night to enjoy together, were some of the activities shared.
Around 145 young people gathered for the Pre-Genfest at “Christ the King College”, located in Nkolfoulou-Soa, a periphery of Yaounde, in Cameroon. The Genfest was held during the 11th of August in Yaounde, where participants from all over Cameroon and Gabon came together to held their local Genfest.
More than 220 youth from Ivory Coast gathered during the second weekend of August to held their Genfest where they celebrated with music, dances and workshops on the theme “Beyond all Borders“.
In Abuja, around 600 young people from all over Nigeria –and also 4 other youth from Togo– gathered during the 18th of August to do their local genfest where they focused of addressing the theme of unity between the different tribes of the country. There were also a few muslim friends, giving the oportunity to share together, in fact in the end of the day, they all sang and danced together, showing how unity is possible.
From 6th to 8th July was held the Youth Camp in Mafikeng, South Africa, during the same days as the Genfest in Philippines. Youth from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa participated in it. The presence of different countries was a visible sign of the strong desire to overcome personal and cultural borders, through many shared experiences, workshops, activities and impressions about going beyond all borders. They also shared a cultural night where they celebrated the diversity and richness of all the different participants.
During the 22nd of July, in Cochabamba 500 people were part of the local Genfest where people from different generations, churches and movements could share experiences, music and dances.
The local Genfest held in Mariápolis Ginetta, in Brazil received more than 450 young people from San Paolo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and other States between July 7th and 9th, 2018, to discuss and share life experiences that transform the place where we live in a more united world. Through dynamics, cultural presentations, spiritual moments and festivities, Genfest provides the festival of unity, attracting young people from different cultures and religions to fraternize with the international event in the Philippines.
Other thousands of young people participated in local genfests held in Ciampina Grande, Maranhao, Piaui, Pará and Amapá had their Genfest during July.
From 13th to 15th July the local genfest in Chile gathered 100 young people from Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina, in the Mariapolis Center of Cunaco. One of the main activities –apart from different forums and sharing instances– was a flashmob held in Plaza de Santa Cruz to symbolize how all walls, barriers, boundaries and opposing positions can fall and how can fraternity be a real path towards a more united world.
500 youth from different provinces, religions and social environments gathered in La Habana (Cuba) from 10th to 12th August. The weekend was full of color, experiences and celebration, with had a moment of sharing where many religious leaders of different Christian denominations were invited to show how fraternity is a path to a more united world.
The local Genfest, in Guatemala, was held from the 23rd to the 30th of June. As part of the activities, they developed Hands 4 Humanity activities in three large groups: Limpiatón, Hands of Love and Hands to give. The first one consisted in a group who went out to the streets near the Mariapolis Center to collect garbage to contribute with the environment and the neighbors. The second group worked to collect food, personal items and clothing for the affected by the volcano of fire. Lastly, a team planned ecological ideas to be implemented in everyone’s home space.
120 young people from Albania, Macedonia and Germany held a Genfest in Tirana, the Capital of the Albania, during the same weekend of the Genfest in Manila. Before the weekend, they shared a week together between people from different generations, to generate exchange and to live as a big family. During the Genfest, they participated in local and global activities that went from workshops to connecting via streaming to live the Genfest in Manila and, therefore, opening to the reality of going “Beyond all borders”. They also participated in concrete activities in Tirana, called “fraternity seeds”.
Other Genfests were held during July: Croatia (15th to 20th), Poland and Czech Republic (youth participated in Summer Schools from the 1st till the 8th of July) and Spain (young people gathered from the 20th till the 29th to do the hike towards Santiago de Compostela).