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Interview with the members of the Marist Youth Ministry (MYM) Commission



Br Ifeanyi Mbaegbu, Province of Nigeria

14/07/2013: Nigeria

Marist Youth Ministry can count on an International Commission responsible for indicating to the whole Institute directives capable of guiding the work of the local animators. Among the goals already achieved by this Commission is the document « Evangelisers in the midst of youth » delivered to the Marist Institute in 2011.

The Commission’s last meeting was held in May in the General House. We asked its members some questions about its work and about Marist Youth Ministry (MYM). Today we present an interview with Br Ifeanyi Mbaegbu, from Nigeria, member of the Commission since 2007.

What are the peculiar characteristics of the young people in Africa today?

The young in my region are very dynamic, energetic, self-motivated and at the same time confronted with crisis of foreign cultures and technological advances of Europe and America.

How is organized the Marist Youth Ministry in your region?

MYM is at its initial stage. In some places it is taking root gradually while in some other places it is much slower because there are no structures to serve as a spring-board. There is passion for MYM in the whole continent of Africa.

In your opinion, what are the challenges and difficulties of MYM in Africa?

* Lack of knowledge and basic principles of youth animation by some brothers and lay Marists

* Poor involvement of lay youth leaders and animators

* Conflict between MYM and other existing structures of youth apostolate in our schools.

* Many brothers have too many responsibilities that they have little or no time for MYM.

* Poor financing of MYM in the Administrative Unities.

* Lack of interest and support by some brothers.

* Absence of a unifying approach/ common language among brothers in the Administrative Units.

* Boarders and language barriers in some places.

* Some brothers are not willing to go beyond the classroom and office apostolate.

Do you have some proposals?

* There is need for a more practical guideline for the implementation of the document on MYM.

* There is need for more involvement of provincial leadership, school and community directors in the promotion of MYM in the Provinces.

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