Testimony of Filipa, Potugal – GA2010
THIRD INTERNATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The challenge was given to us in 2009, by the International Council, we were a little fearful at first, but at the same time we know it would turn out well. The National Council of VMY of Portugal accepted the challenge of hosting the Third International Assembly of VMY and the First Meeting of the African National Councils.
During the year we had, we started preparing, along with the help of the Congregation of the Mission, of the Daughters of Charity and the young adults of VMY Association.
To carry out these two meetings we needed various young adults from Portugal to help in the different tasks: to serve the tables, some animation during the slow times, help to the moderator, secretarial service, etc. The VMY young adults felt called to unite themselves to two different teams, one for each gathering and those who accepted the proposal would form the volunteer teams from Portugal.
The First Meeting of the African National Councils started on July 28th and those who helped were: Marisa Rodrigues, Filipa Meneses, Ricardo Ferreira, Sérgio Caseiro, Francisco Vilhena y Father Álvaro Cunha. This was a smaller gathering, some 40 participants, which helped the volunteers to get to know the House in Turcifal, which is huge and has many spaces. Each task was carried out with great joy and good will, to serve their neighbor in the simplest tasks.
When this gathering finished, the General Assembly commenced, where the second team acted as volunteers: Filipa Meneses, Francisco Vilhena and Father Álvaro Cunha, others who joined them were Susana Barreira, Ana Fonseca, Mariana Pereira, Anita, Rita Bemposta, Francisco Pires, Fábio Mendes, João Ferreira y Father Bruno Cunha. When they arrived, they were able to get to know the space with the help of the previous volunteers; and we began to welcome those at Turcifal. Other young adults were charged with the task to welcome those arriving at Lisbon, animating and entertaining the participants in the Assembly after some long journeys.
Once we all gathered at Turcifal, all the participants were taken to their rooms, then dinner and finally the official opening of the Assembly. This was the initiation of the Assembly and also the initiation for all those who served as volunteers. During the following days, these young adults were available to help with whatever needs that surfaced. They created choreography for the official hymn of the Assembly, which quickly spread to all the participants, they taught some dynamics and songs that made different moments of the General Assembly much livelier. The Assembly days were intense and were lived 100 % by every volunteer, because they all had different tasks: kitchen duty, secretarial, auditorium, selling, in the exposition area, liturgy, all was carried out with the joyfulness that VMY is typically known for. Without a doubt, it was a very gratifying and positive experience for the young adults of Portugal who had the opportunity of participating in an international event like this.
(National Secretary of VMY of Portugal)
(Secretaria Nacional de JMV)