Brazil's youth mission comes of age
28 September 2012
Brazil Anglicans' youth ministry came of age with a celebration in the the coastal town of Recife of the Missionary Ministry of Liberty to mark 18 years of dedicated work with young people.
The Anglican commitment to youth ministry and diakonia came to fruition in projects to mobilise young people to speak out over community rights, ecological issues and the need for training, jobs and services.
It’s been 18 years of hard work and Christian presence there. The community seeks to live an experience of safe and free space, open and inclusive, in order to taste the best the Anglican Christianity offers. It’s a place for welcoming people respecting their plurality, their way of being diverse. They search to welcome all people, as they are, no distinction or any kind of discrimination, nurturing the feeling of freedom. This word, according to them, is the inspiration foundation of the work.
It’s is remarkable the work the young people did in that community. The youth, a small group of boys and girls, most of them adolescents, worked in a project named MJPOP Freedom – Youth monitoring of Public Policies. They developed a particular methodology to work on consciousness raising on public rights that must be guaranteed. They organised the community to advocate for them.
Some public policies are neglected by the State. The aim of the group is to monitor these policies and do advocacy around them. They do this by organising the community. They organise meeting with the neighbors, the City Hall and local churches.
“We dream with a world full of justice, with the State doing its part, providing services”, said Julie Carla the coordinator. Because of lack of services, young poeple work with the Family Health Programme and mobilise the users of the service to struggle for their rights.
As an outcome of the work done by MJPOP Freedom, networking with popular movements of the region, a documentary was made, called Águas do Joboatão, that explored the crisis facing the River Jaboatão, the most important river of the region of Guararapes, and the focus for ecological discussion in the region.
In order to help people to get better access to education and jobs, Millena Reis, teacher of Spanish, started a group of study. Through this experience we aim to strength the Ecumenical Network of Youth – REJU. Millena and D. Walkiria are responsible for the women’s group in the community. They built a safe space for women share their experiences, most of all on domestic and gender-based violence, women’s status and their religious communities.
MJPOP and REJU decided to organise a missionary ministry among the forgotten and marginalised people of that region. A spirit of Christianity based on participation and activism drives them to develop process to help people - especially women, elders and young people - to get involved in local government.