Int’l youth group’s ‘GenFest’ slated in Manila, July 6-8

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

June 19, 2018, 8:16 pm

MANILA -- A group of young people from around the globe is set to hold an international meeting here in July to show that a united world is achievable.

In the Bulong Pulungan media forum at Sofitel Hotel Tuesday, Youth for a United World (Y4UW) announced GenFest 2018 — a three-day meeting of more or less 6,000 youths from almost 100 countries aimed at providing participants a life-changing experience from the crossing of cultures, religions and traditions.

Y4UW is the youth arm of the Focolare Movement — a group of lay people and religious men and women worldwide that promotes universal brotherhood.

Y4UW Philippines social media head Pao Pangan told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that this is the first time the GenFest is held in an Asian country.

“GenFest has always been done in Europe, never in Asia or outside Europe. It was started in 1973 by the founder of Focolare Movement who is Chiara Lubich” Pangan said.

Aside from the fact that the Filipino youth are very vibrant in terms of gatherings with ethical and social relevance, Pangan said the Philippines is always ready to host foreign delegates.

“It is very timely that Philippines was chosen for this big event, our country has everything because we speak English and we’re not solely Catholic, diverse religions are also here, plus we’re very hospitable,” he said.

Aptly themed “Beyond all borders”, Pangan said youth speakers of different nationalities will talk about the different borders that divide families, friendships and other relationships pertinent to the well-being of the youth today.

“If you will notice the things that make us closer, like gadgets and technology, they divide us more, actually. Also, more families are breaking (up), more friends and relatives are fighting because of politics and other issues,” he said.

GenFest 2018’s international and local organizers plan to help youth express their lives in unity and harmony among diverse cultures, lifestyles and religions, Pangan added.

The event will run from July 6 to 8 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

“There will be workshops, forums, and there will be a practical application where 6,000 participants will go to the different parts of Manila and do random acts of kindness like feeding, coastal cleanup, community cleanup, book reading, teaching with the help of different non-government organizations,” Pangan said. (PNA)