Some 6,000 youth from around the world are converging in Manila on July 6 to 8 for the 11th edition of Genfest, the international youth festival of the worldwide Focolare Movement.
Founded in Italy in 1943 by Chiara Lubich, the Focolare Movement is a worldwide movement which aims to promote the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood among all people and religions. Its youth wing, Youth for a United World (Y4UW), is the one that organizes the Genfest which is generally held every 6 years since its inception in Italy in 1973.
Day 1: Kick Off Festival
It will be the first time Genfest will be held in Asia and outside Europe. With the theme, “Beyond All Borders”, Genfest 2018 aims to allow young people to experience crossing cultures and traditions, find best practices, tools, and projects that would help them achieve sustainable change and realize that everyone is a member of one human family. The event will kick off on Friday afternoon and will be followed by a cultural night of music festival with inputs from participants from around the world.
Day 2: Workshops, forums, experience
On Day 2, July 7, the Genfest will hold some 110 simultaneous workshops and forums on a wide variety of topics including politics, the media, economics, culture, sports, ecology and others. The main purpose is to empower young people to think beyond themselves, to overcome borders, and to do acts of kindness and love when they go back to their communities.
In the afternoon, participants will participate in “Hands for Humanity” event, a series of activities of kindness, solidarity, welcome and urban development in Manila. Some of these activities are clean and green drive, time with the deaf, the blind and the elderly, and feeding children.
The day will conclude with testimonies, songs, and artistic presentations.
Day 3: Conclusion
On the final day, July 8, the Genfest will conclude with a closing Mass to be presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila. Genfest 2018 will conclude with a message by Maria Voce, the President of the Focolare Movement.
Organized by young people for young people, Genfest 2018 is very much on the social media. Those interested in following the 3-day event can updated themselves through the following links:
Live streaming: http://www.y4uw.org/live