MANILA, March 26, 2013—At least 17 young Filipinos have volunteered to help the organizers of the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) in Brazil.
The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) has met with the group of international volunteers that will be coming from different parts the Philippines to Rio de Janeiro. The orientation meeting was held last March 10 at the CBCP Conference Room in Intramuros, Manila.
In an interview with YouthPinoy, ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta said the volunteers will also be paying for their registration and participation costs for the WYD like ordinary pilgrims.
“(But) these young Filipinos will not join the WYD as a participant but as volunteers who would be given different tasks such as signage-bearers, secretariat staff, runners, liturgy coordinators, in support to the WYD team in Brazil,” he added.
Garganta said the group of WYD international volunteers from the Philippines will be going to Rio de Janeiro by July 15, while the WYD international pilgrims go to other dioceses outside of the host diocese for the Missionary Week or formerly called Days in the Diocese. The 27th WYD is slated on July 17 to 28 in Brazil with the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro as the host diocese.
Meanwhile, at least 16 subgroups comprising 211 individuals have applied to be part of the ECY-Philippines delegation to the WYD.
But as of press time, the ECY is still accepting applications after deciding to postpone the deadline for submitting their credentials from February 28 to April 15.
“We have decided to accommodate those who have expressed interest to comply with the requirements, hence the extension,” Garganta said.
The present number of WYD pilgrims that joined the ECY-Philippines delegation, the biggest and considered as the official country delegation to the global youth gathering, pales in comparison with the group that attended the previous WYD in Spain. In August 2011, at least 40 subgroups, with more than 1,000 initial applicants that were trimmed down to 400 actual pilgrims, went to Madrid under the ECY-Philippines delegation.
Aside from the ECY, other dioceses have separately organized their own WYD delegation. The number of pilgrims under the different delegations outside of the ECY could not be verified as pilgrims going to Brazil for the WYD do not need to secure visa to enter the host country.
Details on the venue and schedule of the different events of the WYD and the pilgrims’ transportation, accommodation, security and meals are on the “process of polishing,” according to Garganta who attended the second international preparatory meeting with the WYD organizers last November 26 to 29 in the host city. (YouthPinoy)