Three days in the life of a Caritas youth

20 Oct 2016   |   Blog   |   Youth

Tags:  Social justice, youth   |   No comments

Echa during the recent Caritas Youth Think Tank session in October

In August 2016, Caritas Australia held a Young Adults Global Justice Workshop at our head office in Alexandria. The three-day event was attended by 22 young adults from across the country, all of whom have a strong passion for social justice.

One of the participants was Echa Mbuto, who recently returned to Caritas Australia for our first ever Youth Think Tank session in October. Echa has recounted her experience from the August workshop for us and shared how the event impacted her life.

Day 1

The highlight of the first day for me was learning about the strength-based community development activity. The strength-based approach identifies and builds on the strengths, abilities and assets that communities already have. This activity gave my colleague Feze and I the opportunity to share our experiences relating to the community structure and the refugee camps we lived in. I also enjoyed the presentation by Zachary Wone and Carl O’Sullivan who talked about Caritas Australia’ First Australians partner programs and justice issues facing our First Peoples.

Day 2

With the excitement about for a new day, we got insight into what goes in an emergency bag, during a session with the Humanitarian and Emergencies team. The icing on the cake for the day was meeting different departments of Caritas Australia such as advocacy and the Asia Pacific team which offers the opportunity to know more about Caritas as an NGO. At the end of the second day, staff members offer us the opportunity for drinks and nibbles with them, which was pretty awesome.

Day 3

I participated in 'The Amazing Race' challenge to Notre Dame. Day three was all about teamwork, collaboration and everything that goes into raising awareness on three important issues: Climate change, Indigenous Australians and Australia’s foreign aid cuts. The trip to Notre Dame offered the opportunity to participate, talk to the public and stand out from the crowd.

Summary

I fully enjoyed the three days of the Young Adults Global Justice Workshop at Caritas Australia. Each day, I experienced interesting, informative and insightful departments discussing various topics from a religious or development perspective; international and domestic, and within developing countries or already developed.

Participants during the workshop in August

The event offered me the opportunity to learn about Caritas, to share ideas and socialise with like-minded people. Each speaker was engaging, powerful, brilliant, and passionate about their field of work. Sitting there listening to the speakers, I felt inspired to search for an area of interest in the development industry. I also felt inspired to believe in my own ability as well as to work hard to create opportunities for those around me.

I got to meet a group of bright, enthusiastic and diverse young people from my University (Australian Catholic University - Strathfield ),  Newcastle, Cairns, Melbourne and Tasmania. I would like to acknowledge that we shared a strong sense of  justice, similar interests and passion for humanitarian work or working in the development industry in general. This was so exciting because I felt like we understood a side of each other that most young people couldn’t.

Overall, attending the workshop was an experience I will never forget. I learned so much, had so much fun, and got a glimpse into what life is like at an NGOs that works in developing countries and  with the marginalised people. It introduced me to concepts used in the field of a development organisation. 

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the people who made the Young Adults Global Justice Workshop possible. Greta Spies and the rest of the team and those who shared their experiences during my three days at Caritas Australia. I personally benefited very much from this fantastic event.

- Echa Mbuto


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