Honiara (Fides Service) - 161 persons registered for the Youth Leadership Encounter, held at Don Bosco Hall, Henderson, Solomon Islands, from 28 to 30 January, 2005 in preparation for World Youth Day in August this year in Cologne, Germany. ‘We have come to Worship him’ was the theme of the meeting and “we worship Christ in our brothers and sisters - in love, in respect and above all in service” stated Salesian Fr. Ambrose Pereira one of the organisers. The majority of the participants were youth from the parish of Christ the King, Tetere while there were also participants from Tanagai, Holy Cross and Tenaru and this gave the meeting the face of authentic “unity in diversity”.
In their interventions the young participants spoke of corruption, abuse, dishonesty and selfishness as very evident in the leaders of Solomon Islands today, but also mentioned positive qualities noted in their leaders, service, honesty, commitment, interest in people. “Leadership is service, not power,” said Francis Aba, a Tururana youth member, who also stressed the need to be an integrally developed person and work towards living out the good qualities and rather than the bad.
The young participants also discussed the social problems now emerging corruption, violence, kwaso, alcohol, marijuana, sexual abuse, etc…. And the destructive effect on the life of young people invited to build a health society and country of positive values. A highlight of the programme was the hour of adoration - at which the youngsters spent time in prayer, song and expressed their struggles, aspirations and dreams for themselves and their people.
Present for the concluding Eucharistic celebration were a number of persons interested in the young, volunteers and other guests. The offertory amount was the young people’s contribution to victims of the recent tsunami disaster.
The Youth Leadership Encounter was an occasion to bring youth together - and look towards the World Youth Day to be celebrated in Cologne in August 2005. It is hoped that a few youth from Solomon Islands will be present for the occasion. PA (Agenzia Fides 4/2/2005 righe 30 parole 380