Young people from this Kenyan city need your help to be able to come to WYD

Jóvenes de MalindiMadrid, November 29, 2010.- Malindi is a city situated on the coast of Kenya. It is a dominantly touristic area and residence to many Italians. It has great human and economic potentials, but the lack of formation of its people is what holds back its progress.

One of WYD’s collaborators recently went to Africa invited by “Manos Unidas,” a Non-Governmental Organization for Development, run by the Catholic Church and made up of volunteers. He took advantage of the visit to the different projects run by “Manos Unidas” to spread the word about the international encounter that will take place in Madrid next summer.

When he gave the young people some WYD t-shirts and told them what the event in Madrid will consist in, they “were excited and frustrated at the same time, because they gain less than 2 dollars a day,” he tells us.

Solidarity Fund

From his time spent there, we can see the need for many other young people to register for World Youth Day and collaborate in the Solidarity Fund as soon as possible, so that other young people without recourses, like those from Malindi, can also participate in this great celebration of faith.

The Diocese of Malindi was created in the year 2000 and it has a team that, led by the Bishop, has made enormous progress in these first years. It covers an area of over 33,000 square kilometers (it is the size of Belgium), and is divided between the coast and the interior of the country. 50% of the population is Muslim, 30% Christian, and 20% animist.

PovertyJóvenes de Malindi 2

The young people of Malindi find themselves in a contradictory situation. They live in poverty while, at the same time, tourists enjoy luxuries that aren’t available to the locals. There is a large range of jobs, but due to their lack of formation, they do not remain in any position very long. The following step for some of them is to fall into drugs or prostitution as an easy way to gain money.

Another shocking fact: 20% of the population is infected with AIDS, and more and more children are born with the virus.  Among other things, there is also a water shortage. In some areas, the people have to walk 10 km to find water, and as is usual, it is the task of women and children.

However, the young people and women of Malindi have joined together to try and come out of this poverty. Led by their bishop, they obtained some land where they built a formation center called “Saint Francis Xavier Institute.” It offers courses in human formation and training in the most common trades: tailors, waitresses, cooks, gardeners, childcare, etc. Although they want to have the capacity for 300 people, there are currently about a hundred students (mostly young women) who are between the ages of 17 and 21 years old.

Joy and Optimism

Our friend tells us that what most impressed him was “the profound devotion and faith that these young people show. I was able to assist Mass there on two occasions, and you could sense their strong faith and joy. I also attended night prayer where, without any religious or priest being present, they prayed with great freedom and devotion.

But, to his surprise, despite the day-to-day difficulties, he found them to be optimistic, joyful and modern. “As soon as they had finished praying the Rosary, the Creed, and other short prayers, they turned on some music and began to dance, creating an environment of healthy fun,” he comments.

Hopefully, with the help of everyone, we can count on a representation of young people from Malindi at WYD. Your dream is our dream. By paying just 10€ more when you register, you can help these young people, and others like them, to participate in WYD with you. 

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