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My World, One World – DBYN Youth Conference


Between 18 and 23 January about 30 young people from over 10 different countries were in Bonn, Germany, to take part in an International Youth Conference “My world-one world”.

The conference was the final event of a one year partnership of the Salesian NGO JUGEND DRITTE WELT and the city of Bonn. It was sponsored by the city and the “Foundation for International Dialogue of the Saving Bank in Bonn” and got support from Don Bosco Youth Net.

The young participants were all dedicated to different social activities mainly in Don Bosco projects all over the world. For one week they had a chance to get to know each other, to exchange ideas, get a better insight into different cultures and to broaden their own intercultural awareness.


The timetable included among other things group dynamic games, discussions on values and beliefs or prejudices. At an intercultural evening those from each country were given the chance to present themselves, their culture, food and music. The city of Bonn was explored during a guided tour ending in a typical restaurant of Bonn. A totally new experience for most of the participants was Ice- Skating at “Bonn on Ice”.

During the week the thirty participants became a strong community, in spite of an age gap of twenty years between some of the participants or their totally different backgrounds. These were easily overcome showing that in the end we are “One World!”


This was one of the messages given at the Don Bosco Forum on 22nd January, which 300 people came to. It was here that the participants presented their results of the week to the audience.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras in Central America spoke at the Don Bosco forum. He sees globalization as a danger that exists between countries and cultures, new walls and fences were being built and divisions between rich and poor made wider. At the Don Bosco Forum in Bonn, he said it was a mistake to believe that economic growth benefits all people. The example of new technology shows how the labor and creativity of the poor are being exploited as shamelessly as before, for the rich – whether they were from the global north or south – to serve more and better. The North also yield not only the material resources of the South but also try to absorb the human resources.

The collapse of the financial system has shown that many banks and large parts of the economy are required in this country not for employment and small savers but large companies and shareholders. Any lessons from the disaster had been drawn, since the system is still striving to maximize profits instead of on the procurement and protection of labour. Cardinal Rodriguez lamented the fact that in the global debate over the just distribution of worldly goods, the voice of the church currently find hardly be heard because, by the abuse scandal, suffered great damage and moral authority are frequently called into question. Sin and failure should the church not be a reason to say goodbye to their responsibility. His own religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco sat in her commitment to a better and more just world for the youth by educating and training many young people. This is his personal perspective.

Brother Jean-Paul Muller, SDB, director of Don Bosco Mission, who had been invited to this forum, pointed out to the 300 guests of the Forum that the youth had been the catalyst and driving force of the Tunisian revolution. Over all barriers of culture and religion, young people unite across the world year for a just and inclusive world. Signs of this were also the many volunteers of Don Bosco Mission, working in 26 countries worldwide. These volunteers, even more than everyone else, showed the motto of the Youth Conference “My World – One World” to be a reality.

Last modified on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:19