This past weekend, World Youth Alliance held its first Coffee House here at the WYA International Headquarters in New York. The idea was that a Coffee House would be a fun way to impact culture on a local level. It would create a space to actualize the ideas of WYA in regard to human dignity, solidarity, and culture. Looking back on the flow of the evening, I think we achieved the goals we had in mind, despite the preceding fears that our piano would not arrive or be tuned in time, food donations would fall short, or rain would keep us from using our garden space. Everything did come together in the end and we had breezy weather, a somewhat tuned piano, and an abundance of desserts. WYA interns and staff, as well as a few guests, all pitched in to make our first Coffee House a successful one.
The first act of the night was a line dance that required everyone’s participation. After that, we enjoyed three hours of piano, guitar, singing and even a beat box act. About half-way through the evening our regional director, Shannon Joseph, and two of our international interns from Kenya and the Philippines gave a synopsis of the work of the World Youth Alliance both internationally and regionally. All the current interns had a chance to introduce ourselves and briefly highlight some of the projects we are working on.
My favorite part of the night was watching my friend’s Irish dance performance. I also loved showing everyone our PowerPoint presentation. I think overall, the Coffee House created an opportunity for young people to experience the values of the WYA through a first-hand encounter by celebrating the creativity of the person in an environment of solidarity.
Marie Murray – World Youth Alliance