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IYCW 15 th International Council opening ceremony

IYCW 15 th International Council opening ceremony

On the 23d of October 2022, the IYCW held the public opening of its 15th International Council in Peru as a symbolic show of unity of the struggles of the young workers organized by the movement. The context in which this international council took place was characterized, on the one hand, by the tide and ebb of the Covid19 pandemic and its various consequences on the people, such as the increase of unemployment and social inequalities. It was also marked by the great complexity of the international economic, cultural and political tensions between the current super industrial powers which even led the world to international armed conflicts. On the other hand, this council provided an opportunity to highlight the growing mobilization of the people, especially of the youth who were longing for a more just and fraternal world, as Pope Francis puts it, and for a more serious concern for their environment.

This important event took place in Casa de Retiro San Francisco de Asis in Lima. The public opening began with a wonderful cultural ritual performed by an indigenous woman from Peru who helped the participants connect with Mother Earth, Pachamama, and our ancestral spirituality. This was followed by the Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Dom José Reginaldo Andrietta, bishop of the Diocese of Jales in Sao Paulo Brazil, who was himself a former international chaplain to the IYCW. Bishop Reginaldo Andrietta was assisted by Father Alejandro Cussinavich, chaplain to the Peru YCW, and Fathers Santiago and Humberto Boulango from Peru.

The celebration was followed by a political session consisting of testimonies about the realities of the youth: their problems and struggles, their types of organization and demands. The round table dedicated to the Peru’s reality involved the participation of a large range of guest speakers, including two members of MANTHOC (a 46 years old autonomous movement of child and adolescent workers fighting for the rights of children and adolescents) and some representatives of IPROFOTH (Institute for the Promotion and Training of Domestic Workers). Among the various aspects of the reality experienced by the Peruvian young people the speakers particularly highlighted the problems of internal migration, unemployment and low wages.

This was followed by the contribution of Pedro Francke, a former minister of economy who spoke about formal and precarious working conditions among the young people, and by the contribution of Milagros Tirado who talked about the situation of work and education in Peru.

Then different representatives of the IYCW took the floor to share their testimonies, starting with Ana Facho from the Peru YCW who was followed by each continent introducing its reality through the voice of its delegates to the Council. All of them spoke of the impact of the YCW on their lives, while a member of the international team spoke of the impact of the movement at world level. Finally a former IYCW member belonging to the International Cardijn Association (ICA) reminded us of the YCW history, stressing the importance of the international councils, both for the movement itself and the society as a whole.

It was by then time for our international treasurer, Leizyl Salem, to conclude the ceremony and officially open the council with highly motivating words and perspectives

This public opening ceremony was full of dynamism and creativity - be it through music, workers; songs, dances, theatre or cultural events interspersed between the speeches. It ended with a rally and a parade in the very centre of Lima where the delegates could display on their banners all their demands as organized young workers from all over the world.

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