Last Monday, July 22nd, Rio de Janeiro’s most symbolic figure, the Christ Redeemer, welcomed with open arms thousands of young people that reunited in this city for a very special celebration, World Youth Day 2013.
Approximately 3 million people from around the world gathered to participate in this great event in an environment of solidarity and respect. During this week, Rio de Janeiro´s streets were decorated with groups of young people that proudly represented their countries while wearing their flags and extending their friendship to people from every nationality.
The World Youth Alliance did not want to miss this enormous celebration and joined together at World Youth Day 2013. A group of WYA Dignity Ambassadors from Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Philippines and Australia went to Rio de Janeiro and invited pilgrims to share their reasons to celebrate life and encouraged them to have an active role in the promotion of human dignity.
For this purpose, WYA launched the campaign “I Celebrate Life,” not only at WYD but also to any person around the world who wanted to join in from their home countries. The campaign served as a space and opportunity for all young people who are concerned with the debate over life and other threats to their values that have arisen in policies all over the world.
One example of such policies is the same country where the WYD was held. Brazil’s Congress is currently debating over a bill that would allow abortion under some circumstances. The case is similar in Argentina.
For this reason, many young people took the message of life to heart and became active in the “Celebrate Life” campaign, inviting their groups to join in order to promote life around the world. It was a great experience to see great young leaders calling their friends and groups to make sure they joined the campaign as well to support life to contribute in any way they could.
Because of the current situation in Latin America, sharing the reasons why we celebrate life is becoming more and more important to continuing to build a culture that respects human dignity, and more and more young people are joining in every day.
Three days have passed from the WYD closing ceremony where we were reminded that young people have the power to change the world. We just need to keep this in mind, join efforts, and work in solidarity for the cause of life.
For any young person who wasn’t able to join us at WYD, make sure you join today and tell us the reasons why you Celebrate Life.
By: Kateri Salas, Director of Operations for WYA Latin America