There are things about “family” that we know and understand differently. I may know more about a certain point than you, or you may know as much I do about something else. But I think no matter our experiences, we can all agree that the family is the basic unit of society.
I started my journey with World Youth Alliance (WYA) with just one simple dream – to experience something extraordinary. Of course given the “world we live in,” I knew keeping this dream would be difficult. But I did not stop dreaming. I knew and believed it would happen.
Last 2014 I attended my first event with WYA – the WYA Asia Pacific (WYAAP) Summer Camp. Throughout those five days I noticed my life transformed into something better. I knew it was different because I was suddenly waking up on a right side of the bed each day. It seemed that I had the motivation to grab each day and make the most out of what was going to happen. At that very moment, I knew that my dream was slowly becoming a reality.
As the camp ended, we went home with every drop of “separation anxiety.” It was a struggle for me. I felt like I had so many siblings, and I was so happy about that, but I had to be separated from them simply because that was bound to happen. With the aim of searching for something to ease the pain, I spent time thinking about the very reason why I had to feel the pain in my heart, and right then and there, I realized that we had established a strong sense of solidarity. And there, I was amazed!
Months after that, we established a WYA Chapter in our University. We were able to “pull it off,” though it was not easy. We faced some issues on living out the principles of the organization. We struggled because we needed to motivate our dying passion on our own, without our “siblings” and elder brother and sisters from the camp. I stood firm because I realized that I needed to in order for my dream to happen. I knew it was the same motivation that my companions had.
It all paid off, eventually. Before the school year ended, we were awarded “Best New Club” in the whole university.
I knew all these things would not happen without something powerful that caused them- something magical and unexplainable. What was that?
FAMILY! In WYA, we found each other.
I realized that for all those times, I was not alone. I remembered that during the “amazing race” in the camp, the leading team allowed us to take the ride with them even if that meant their loss in the race. When we were starting our chapter in school, we we did not make any decisions without consulting and spending time with each other.
In all these, I remembered that we were family, and that was finally something extraordinary that happened. That was my dream!
Through that experience, my knowledge about family went beyond the normal definition. It evolved into a ‘group of people who listen, care, respect and love each other without stopping.’
Now, I am doing an internship here in the Asia Pacific Region, and I believe that another great experience will allow me to witness my dream becoming a reality.
By Rogin Christ Eribal, current intern at the WYA Asia Pacific Office. Rogin attended the WYAAP Summer Camp in 2014, and headed the WYA Ateneo de Zamboanga Chapter from school year 2014-2015.
If you want to start a WYA chapter in your school or community, you may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org