Saldivar further described the Nairobi gathering of young Africans as part of “Pope Francis’ larger vision for synodality in the Church."
"As we gather together, we are listening to each other, learning how to listen and before we step out and try to change the world, one skill is listening because each one of us comes with their own experiences, hope and strength. We are channeling all that in faith and as St. Ignatius of Loyola says, to set the world on fire," the Jesuit Scholastic explained.
Dominic Chai, a Jesuit serving at the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development, also described the Nairobi meeting as one happening “in the spirit of synodality to discern what our own local communities can do to bring the Economy of Francesco vision to life.”
He said that the meeting, which took place ahead of the October 2 global gathering of the members of the Economy of Francesco aimed at providing “a space for the young change makers to gather in their local communities to share their hopes for the economy of tomorrow.”
Some of the participants in the two-day Nairobi meeting said they had acquired the value of love and had the desire to transform their respective societies.
(Story continues below)
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“In these two days, I have received more reasons to have and expand the word and action of love to the community,” Jane Martha who is the founder of the Havila Rescue Foundation in Kenya told ACI Africa.
Martha added, “When love is generated, more ideas come. It will bring us together in running our activities.”
The Kenya-based environmentalist further said that African youths who are mostly tech-savvy should lead in changing mindsets of resources.
“If we change our mindset on how these resources can bring change to our economy to be a sustainable solution, we will do well,” she said.
On his part, Prosper Maokola who serves as the Job Service Officer at Don Bosco Oysterbay in Tanzania said he had learnt the value of cooperation.
“The youth should be able to cooperate with one another so that collective ideas will change their way of living,” Mr. Maokola said, and added, “As Pope Francis says, through interaction, collaboration, observation, dialogue, the young people will move forward.”
For Chalo Mwansa, the two-day meeting in Nairobi was an opportunity to look at how to rebuild African economies.
“Africa’s economy had shrunk by 2% last year but here we are looking at how to rebuild our economy and do it better so that no one is left behind, minding the poor and the less privileged,” said the founder of the Zambia-based Spotless Africa.
Mr. Mwansa added, “A lot of what I have learnt about change making will be useful especially thinking about what role I have to play at an individual level to create change in my country.”
For Sabina Obere, the workshop was eye-opening as she got to understand “how models can be used to solve pertinent issues in society.”
“I had not had the idea that we could incorporate the whole aspect of life. In this conference, I had an encounter and I fell in love with the whole aspect of life introduced into the economy,” Ms. Obere said.
She added, “We are going to move out as young change makers and we are going to give life, dignity and spread love even as we endeavor to solve the pertinent issues in society.”
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.