Human connections go beyond geographic distances and true fraternity is practiced in spite of it.
A group of young residents and graduates of the Saint Isabel House of the Child (OCSI), in Luanda, the capital of Angola, has participated in biweekly distance training with members of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Missions (FIHM), affiliated with the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF).
In 2019, the Fraternity Missions (FIHM) carried out a specific humanitarian mission in Angola, and from that, a monastery of the Grace Mercy Order was established in the capital. Since then, because of the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the collaborators of the organization had to return to Brazil.
“We found that these online meetings are a way to stay connected with these young people, since a link was created during the six months of residency of the institution [in that country],” says Anderson Santiago, missionary of the Fraternity Missions (FIHM), and one of the organizers of the training.
Two meetings have already been held in which the group of young people, four missionaries, four monks, and one collaborator of the Porto Alegre Light-Network talked about topics suggested by the young people and defined together as a group.
Anderson explains that the guidelines of the conversations are organized according to the needs and expressions of the young people. “The missionary work aims to create a space so that they may reflect on their own situations and challenges,” he affirms. As an example, one of the questions was the difficulty of getting into the employment market after having left the House, which receives orphans until they reach adulthood.
The first two meetings dealt with human relationships, in which empathy, and non-violent communication were spoken about, as well as ways of coexisting harmoniously with the self, with others, and with the world.
“In the next meeting we are going to talk about peace in a broader sense, as a means of bringing about transformations around oneself and on the Planet,” says Priscila Vasquez, one of the missionaries.
The missionaries explain that the interactions are a training for all involved, not only for the young people. “The training has been gratifying for all of us, for it provides us with a space for reflection and the maturing of ideas and feelings. We believe that this can be a seed for results to come about because of these meetings,” affirms Anderson.
Priscila says that the feeling is one of gratitude for “being able to listen, share knowledge, inwardly build something together.”
Being at a distance is not a limitation for the strengthening and the creation of connections between the participants, who also do body and music movements, each in their own home. “To create this condition is a challenge that we have overcome in each meeting,” Anderson completes.
*Obs: Photos taken in 2019