Credit: Manos Unidas

Together for Change: stories and experiences from our sustainable camps This year I have had the opportunity to attend the “sustainable camp” in Ourem (Portugal) such a Manos Unidas volunteer with other young people from different CIDSE organizations. It has been a good time to stop the day-to-day stress and think about our personal role in the care of our “common home”. “Laudato Sí” calls us not to be impassive but to be protagonists of a change in our lifestyle, an ecological conversion in which we take care of the Planet and people. A conversion that must begin inside us, recognizing that it is we must sow, care for, start … and then give the best of ourselves to others. This call by Pope Francis is the one that should encourage us to be youth committed to the planet and to work for the people. At the camp, I met many people who have taught me this way, people committed to their organizations and the planet, working for a more just, sustainable and solidary world. And I have mainly been taught a lesson: we must all be the engine of change!

Thanks to these reflections and the community experience of those days, I have realized the wealth that is to live with simplicity. The contact with nature, spending time in reflecting on our lives, to appreciate the small things that happen around us, etc. is a privilege that we do not always have and that makes me feel happy. Since I came back, I have felt the need to feel closer to nature. Likewise, I want to be more aware of what my daily actions imply, trying to consciously choose the most sustainable options (transportation, how to feed myself, etc.). This camp has been a turning point that encourages me to begin my ecological conversión. Thanks to all those who have planted in my heart the joy of living with simplicity!