Children and young people, protagonists of change

Rome (Italy). On 30 November 2019, at the conclusion of the Children's Global Summit, together with Pope Francis in Paul VI hall, children and young people again demonstrated that "it is more beautiful together" and that a world of peace and unity is possible when one has the ‘Courageous trust’ that inspires every project of change for the common good. Among the three thousand participants, eighty young people, members of the Turin Show school, animated this meeting with phrases, songs, and dances inspired by "Laudato Sì”: there is no ‘planet B’ they sang as a single choir.

Some schools of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Rome welcomed groups from different parts of the world to share their concrete experiences of change. The schools of the FMA of Chile, Colombia, and Brazil were chosen to actively participate in this international event, to make their projects known, and to discover many others who, like them, leave footprints in the world through the ‘design for change’ methodology.

"Generating eco-consciousness: your voice is my hands and together we generate change" was the project that a group of girls from Mary Help of Christians school in Santa Marta - Colombia presented to promote inclusion and solidarity.

The young Brazilians of Mary Help of Christians high school in Lins - San Paolo showed with the project "Green bees: sowers of the future" that by combining forces and creativity it is possible to make concrete the dreams of environmental and social improvement.

In addition, the ‘ecological brigade’ of Mary Help of Christians high school in Santa Cruz - Chile presented their sensitization process with the project "Less garbage and more involved in caring for the common home". These young women were able to combine imagination and creativity, involving other schools in the city in their project and obtaining unexpected results. This makes their project a winning start: they knew how to touch the point accessible to the good in their peers.

The youth of Mary Help of Christians high school in Santiago - Chile "looked away from the mobile phone screen and rolled up their sleeves to put themselves at the service of the community" (words of Pope Francis) with the project "Do not throw away but recycle!" uniting in a single proposal ecological and social awareness, because while they recycled, they helped a foundation for poor children. This group was much encouraged for their sense of fraternity, in fact in their presentation there were the names of the companions who could not attend the Summit.

In his discourse to the participants Pope Francis said that "there is a very close relationship between beauty and good, between loveliness and goodness understood as service for others". This was captured by the girls and preteens of Holy Family school in Punta Arenas - Chile. Their "Planting Happiness" project sought to give their school a touch of joy and greenery. Thus, with the help of many, they built vertical gardens, challenging even the cold of their land.

On 29 November 2019, in a time of fraternity and family, the FMA students attending the Children’s Global Summit were able to meet and listen to Mother General and the Councilors. Mother encouraged these young people to continue to be protagonists of change, increasingly involving their friends and classmates.

On their faces was visible the joy of having participated in the project "I can" and the final meeting of the Children's Global Summit, confirming the words of Pope Francis: "What makes me so happy - seeing your smiling eyes - is that you have preferred solidarity, common work, and responsibility to so many other things that the world offers you. In fact it is so: certain things entertain you for a moment, and that's it. Instead this commitment together gives you a satisfaction that remains within. This is also the fruit of an educational method that involves the head, the hands, and the heart, that is, our different dimensions, which are always connected to each other. That's why you seem happier than those who have everything and don't want to give anything. You are happier than those who want everything and give nothing. Only through giving can we reach happiness (cf. Acts 20:35)”.

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