World Youth Day organisers “concerned about youths trying to flee”

Angolan delegation seeking to explain ‘how difficult life is in Europe today’

Coordinators of the Angolan delegation for World Youth Day (WYD) – beginning in just two weeks time – have acknowledged the “flight risk” of young people embarking for Lisbon, appealing to them “not to leave on this adventure” because “the European dream is no longer the same”.

“What we are doing is transmitting the real situation of the country where we are going. The European dream is no longer the same as in the 90s, the 2000s,” Catholic priest Armando Pio Alberto, national director of Youth Pastoral of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST), has told Lusa.

The priest said nonetheless that “he who sees the face, does not see the heart”; the organisation “cannot identify these manifest wills (of escape) because many are secret”.

Says Lusa, Father Alberto admits there is some risk.

Thus the tactic is to ram home how hard life is these days in Europe.

At least 1,518 Angolans living in Angola and in the diaspora are already registered to participate in WYD Lisbon 2023, and 518 pilgrims are expected to embark from Luanda in the Angolan ‘caravan’ led by the Bishop of Cabinda and CEAST spokesman, Belmiro Chissengueti.

They are all due to arrive next week (around July 25/ 26), while the WYD event itself takes place between August 1-6, with main initiatives taking place in Lisbon’s Parque Eduardo VII, in the Belém areas and in Parque Tejo (north of Parque das Nações and on land owned by the councils of Lisbon and Loures).

Source: LUSA