Sr Annecie Audate FMA, VIDES International Director General, presided over the virtual meeting attended by delegates of VIDES groups in Asia on 16 January 2021.
In her opening remarks, Sr Runita Borja FMA, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, underscored that "what the young people ask of us and expect from us, and not only in this pandemic time, is presence and closeness. Not just any presence, but rather a presence of listening, a presence of dialogue and sharing, a presence of hope."
Mr Guido Barbera, VIDES International President, highlighted the effects of the global pandemic to the way of life of the people and to the implementation of the projects of the different VIDES groups. He stressed the need for flexibility and readiness to adapt to the changing realities so that VIDES may effectively carry out its mission to accompany the youth. He also gave his insights in relation to the selection of candidates for the upcoming election of the VIDES International Board of Directors in July 2021.
The delegates from VIDES Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India, and the Philippines gave an overview of the current situation in their respective countries, the challenges they are facing, and updates on their activities.
Sr Annecie led a beautiful prayer asking the Lord's guidance as VIDES groups undertake volunteering activities that cross all ideological, racial, cultural and social barriers. The prayer also asks for strength to accompany young people, to limit the damage that politics and man have caused, and to bring simple smile and express the meaning of true solidarity.
The Director General of VIDES International also highlighted the importance of engendering the culture of reciprocity and of having intercultural and intergenerational discussions so VIDES would be more responsive to the needs of the young people. She
urged the delegates to think about the structure and the direction that the VIDES governing body must have to further the said agenda.