A Worldwide Event: The Genfest

25 May 2017

The Genfest is a worldwide event which brings together all the youth who express their commitment to live for a more united world,a world where peace and fraternity are the first, true laws of all of humanity. In more than 40 years, the Genfest has brought together tens of thousands of young people and next year it will take place at Manila in the Philippines on the 6th, 7th and 8th of July.

Patrick from the Slovak Republic, Jose Luis from Brazil and Kiara from the Philippines, work at the International Centre of the Youth of the Focolare Movement, and are a small part of the team that is preparing Genfest 2018.

“Of course, there are so many challenges,” Kiara shares. “Communication plays a very important role in our lives. Being able to fully express my ideas and what I feel is very important for me. Here, since I have to communicate in a different language, I’m always afraid that I might not able to deliver my message, well. I remember one Saturday when we were supposed to present to the entire Genfest committee the various proposals and work we had undertaken. In the days before the presentation, we worked very hard, collecting suggestions, comments, reflections, etc.. My team then asked me to explain and present to the committee the results that we had arrived at. And honestly, I was really afraid. I needed to communicate in a language that didn’t made me feel at ease, besides, I had to speak in a way in which others would understand well. I was really worried that I would not be able to explain myself well. But, I realised that I’d have to keep calm. I told myself that I hadn’t come here to be perfect at everything, but to give my 100 percent. Of course, this is a challenge for me, and if I give my 100 percent, with the support and trust of those with whom I work, I know I’d make it.”

“With this experience,” Kiara continues, “I go ahead with all that I do. There are always challenges. But the difficulties will always be part of the experience. And I know in my heart that it’s worth it to live like this.”

In this way we, the Youth for a United World want to commit ourselves completely to a humanity that will be more united and brotherly. The Genfest will be our feast. What do you say? We will have the whole world before us, in all its variety of peoples and cultures, with their hurts and their achievements, riches and miseries, questions about freedom, equality, dignity.

We want to involve as many young people as possible in this extraordinary undertaking: a world without borders, without barriers, without walls, as the title of Genfest 2018 declares: “Beyond all borders”. We’ve been given the opportunity to work for something great, and we don’t want to waste it.

The Genfest will be a great occasion to show that a united world is possible, that peace is not a dream, but a reality. And for this we have give our ‘yes’. And you, are you ready to give your ‘yes’?

The Genfest has begun. See you in Manila, the Philippines, in 2018!


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