The last few months have been busy ones for youth representatives at Development and Peace — Caritas Canada. Read on to find out more about the Our Common Home youth camp, the National Youth Assembly, regional youth rep activities, and an upcoming Solidarity Tour to the Brazilian Amazon!
Our Common Home youth camp, August – September 2019
In late August, four youth representatives attended the Our Common Home youth camp in England. Here is the reflection of one of them, Landon Turlock, on his experience:
“Young members of Development and Peace had the opportunity to join youth leaders from across Europe, as well as Peru and India at a forum hosted by CIDSE, an alliance of Catholic international solidarity organizations, that includes Development and Peace. Called Our Common Home in reference to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, the camp brought together 50 youths for four full days in England to learn how to understand, discuss and address the climate crisis in their respective parts of the world and in light of Catholic Social Teaching.
Against the serene backdrop of the English countryside, replete with green fields and forests, the camp’s connection to nature was tangible. It made the topic of our forum so much more immediate. As a group, we discussed the need for urgent and global action to address the climate crisis on all fronts, from governments to businesses and families to faith groups.
This is, no doubt, a daunting task. Yet, discussing the climate crisis with youths from all over the world over four days, there was a sense of hope—a sense that we are not alone in this call to action. And it was not just the climate action programming that communicated this. Delegates shared music, food and stories from their respective cultures. It was in those moments, too, that we felt connected as global citizens and friends bringing diverse perspectives and talents to face the most pressing threat facing humanity. It showed me that we are not acting alone to address the climate crisis, but that we must act.”
National Youth Assembly, October 4 – 6, 2019
The National Youth Assembly is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from each other, reinvigorate ourselves and plan for Development and Peace’s youth movement. At our head office in Montreal, Development and Peace hosted francophone and anglophone youths from Castlegar, B.C. to Moncton, N.B. and everywhere in between!
Some highlights included workshops on the For our Common Home campaign, communications and advocacy, as well as regional reports from each youth rep, song writing and participation in the Caritas Global Week of Action for its Share the Journey campaign.
Here is what some of the participants had to say about their experience:
«This recent Youth Assembly was a truly invigorating experience. Gathering with youth leaders from across Canada allowed us to engage more deeply with Development and Peace's For our Common Home campaign[KM1] and to reflect on climate change and the realities facing people in the Amazon.
Anglophone and francophone youth representatives learnt about advocating to their elected officials, contributing to advocacy campaigns and the calls to action in Laudato si'. The weekend ended with us participating in Development and Peace’s internal democracy by proposing and passing resolutions.
It was incredibly motivating to be alongside so many passionate young leaders who contribute to a more socially just world through empathy, organizing, action and advocacy. Weekends like this one make me incredibly confident about the present and future of Development and Peace's youth movement. » - Landon Turlock, anglophone youth representative on the National Council
«This was my first time attending a National Youth Assembly and I did not know what to expect. Despite the apprehension, I was pleasantly surprised. I was surrounded by numerous caring and fun youth reps from around Canada who were all motivated to make our world a better place. The workshops and speakers inspired me to continue to get youths engaged with Development and Peace back home in Saskatoon. Overall, I found the weekend to be a success, which makes me even more excited to take on the role as a co-youth rep for Saskatchewan this year!» - Alyssa McCullough, co-youth representative, Saskatoon, Sask.
What do youth reps do in their regions across Canada?
«In Saskatoon, I contribute to Development and Peace through the Just Youth club that is run through St. Thomas More College. At the start of the school year, the college hosted a Fall Extravaganza to kick off the 2019 fall campaign. The day featured multiple speeches (including Archbishop Donald Bolen’s keynote address) on the topic of the Amazon and a coffee house. Just Youth also recently did some “tabling” to promote the campaign with trivia quizzes on the Amazon and cut-out hearts saying “I care for our common home” for people to take pictures with. We will compile these pictures into a collage that we’ll hang in the college! Finally, we will be hosting a TedTalk event where we will show and discuss an Amazon-related video over dessert and drinks.»
Molly Fisher :
«The past few months have been busy for Development and Peace work in Southwestern Ontario! On October 18, King's University College campus ministry hosted a full day of activities and discussions for grade 8 students from local schools. They learned about the current threats to the Amazon, how their actions affect others on a global scale, how to find God amid the chaos, and what it means to be leaders in their communities and stewards of the Earth.
That evening, Rebecca Rathbone and I led a workshop to introduce some of my fellow university peers to this year's campaign. They asked thought-provoking questions, participated in activities and said they felt ready to spread awareness about the campaign.
The next day, I helped with a workshop called Serving with the Heart of Christ, hosted by Christ the King Parish (King's campus ministry). It was intended for those involved or interested in living the Gospel and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The sessions were led by Sr. Mary Rowell, CSJ and our Ontario deputy director, Luke Stocking, both of whom have dedicated their lives to Christ through advocacy for the poor.
King’s also hosted a day-long workshop for 87 London-area high school students. They learned about Development and Peace, the current campaign and exercising social justice leadership in schools. Sessions were led by Annette Donovan Panchaud, Rebecca Rathbone, Molly Fisher and several university students.»
A Solidarity Tour to the Brazilian Amazon
We are currently preparing for a Solidarity Tour to the Brazilian Amazon in July 2020! Everyone aged 25 to 40 years who is involved in Development is invited to apply. For details, see the call for applications poster
Keep in touch
To stay up to date and find out more about our youth activities, follow our Facebook page. To join a group or to learn more about Development and Peace activities in your area, contact Selina Hunt, Youth Programs Officer or your regional animator.