One young participant in the interreligious training program
Young people from Loikaw have been visiting a hospital, Buddhist monastery, home for the aged, orphanage and seminary to learn more about some of life’s realities. Some 52 youths took part in an April 18-23 program, where they also learned about media awareness, the environment, the dangers of drugs, and healthcare, said Father Celso Ba Shwe, program organizer and parish priest of Christ the King Cathedral. The youths were divided into four groups and sent to the different places to observe what was happening. While there, they noted what they found most interesting and then later expressed their feelings to the other youths. "The aim of the program was to make them aware of what is really happening in their surroundings and how things can impact on their family and their own lives. It is hoped they will then respond to what they have learned and can solve problems in a positive way," said Fr. Ba Shwe. “Youths are too busy with school and study so they don’t know what is happening in their neighborhood,” he said. Wilbert Aie 17, a first year medical student, said he found a visit to a hospital quite moving. He said he found a sad and lonely patient who had no one to visit him. His face was one of loneliness which seemed to hunger for some company. “It made me determined to help these kinds of people when I become a doctor,” Aie said. Susan Mi Mi, a 17-year-old Catholic said she went to a Buddhist monastery and a market. “The words of one Buddhist monk about respecting other religions touched my heart. I had a lot of respect for him,” Mi Mi said. “When I went to the market, I realized how much the people struggle for their daily survival and how much they work,” she added.