7,000 Volunteers Working to Prepare Youth Day

Supporters Contribute to Solidarity Fund for Poor Pilgrims

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By Carmen Elena Villa

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Some 7,000 volunteers are already hard at work to prepare the next World Youth Day, which will take place next August in Madrid.

María Dolores Jaureguizar, assistant director of the event’s department of communications, reported this during a press conference in the Holy See Tuesday.

The 2011 Madrid World Youth Day «is never asleep» because «someone is always awake» working for this event, she stated.

She noted that many families in Spain have offered their homes to the hundreds of thousands of participants who will arrive from different parts of the world.
Jaureguizar reported that there are also close to 70 community managers who translate the news of the youth day into 18 languages so that it will come to young people «in their language, the language of the social networks.»
More than 200,000 people have become fans of the youth day through the online social networks.
«They send us all kinds of suggestions, from the way to design the pilgrim’s cap (which will really be necessary with the heat of Madrid in August), to proposals of cultural activities of all types,» she added.
However, they do not just work in Spain but in different countries of the world through the Internet, Jaureguizar said, as «all the information and all the promotional material can be found on the official Web site, the interaction of the social networks and videos on YouTube.»
She highlighted the work of many young people who are collaborating as actors in the promotional videos «going through hard castings,» in which they give their image and time without charge.
«And many other young people, from the other side of the camera or on computers of advertising agencies have produced these campaigns with all the eagerness in the world,» Jaureguizar said, «without even paying them for the filming expenses.
She also highlighted the work of those who publicize the event in Spain’s universities, who «explain World Youth Day to friends, who perhaps don’t even have faith.»

Jaureguizar said that thousands of young people are pausing to pray before the famous cross and icon of this event, which since last year have been traveling to different dioceses of Spain. Hence this pilgrimage has become «a celebration, a moment of encounter with Christ and of true spiritual preparation for World Youth Day.»
«They receive the cross with emotion and veneration in their parishes, in their schools, in their shrines,» she said, and «it is leaving a trail that nourishes the faith of thousands of people.»

Jaureguizar took advantage of the moment to share the testimony of some young prisoners on the outskirts of Madrid, who received the pilgrim cross recently: «They told me that they, deprived of liberty, want to be present in World Youth Day with their prayers and that we can count on them.»

She also mentioned the Solidarity Fund in which, through a text message from mobile phones, participants can donate money to help finance the trips of pilgrims from countries of scarce resources «or where the Church suffers for any reason.»

Jaureguizar reported that many young people have given time to organize this event, people «who after leaving their jobs begin their working day with World Youth Day, contributing their little grain of sand robbing it from their pastimes, their family or their friends.»
Many have called from different countries offering their help, she said, «and they continue with us for months after, despite the very hard rhythm of work that organizing an event of this level implies.»
Jaureguizar highlighted the work of adaptation for persons with physical or intellectual disabilities who will participate in the event.
She concluded, «Madrid and its young people are dying to welcome World Youth Day in their city.»

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On the Net:

World Youth Day 2011 http://www.madrid11.com/en

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