Last July 2017, six youth leaders from Jungwacht and Blauring Switzerland came to the Philippines to meet Chiro. The visit is entitled WHEN HEIDI MEETS JUAN with the core theme centering on gender equality.
Heidi is a famous character in Swiss literature while Filipinos call themselves as Juan or Juanas. The trip began in the streets of Manila to the streets of Payatas to see the work of the Sisters of Charity with the children in the area where the city dumpsite is located.
From Payatas, the group went to see the leaders of Baguio before going on the Mountain Trail to reach the Chiro leaders of Banaue. They were warmly welcomed by the parish. Chiro and Jubla hiked Battad and shared a meal together. The leaders slept in host families where they were able to experience local life.
From Banaue the team went to Infanta to see different projects of Fastenopfer and meet the Agta community.
From Infanta, the team went to Bicol. Here, they met with Bishop Joel Baylon in Legaspi as he spoke about the challenges of the Asian Catholic youth. Then the team proceeded to Naga where they met their next host families. The Heidis and Juans met with the children of San Raphael Parish for an afternoon of games and interaction. The team also spent and entire morning with the children of Bagolatao Elementary School to talk about eating healthy breakfast.
In the last week of their trip, the team attended a Gender Equality Forum during the Leaders’ Day in Pasig and also joined the District Day in Cavite for some children’s crafts.
The visit lasted for three weeks. It was a sharing of life, culture, realities, faith, challenges, and play methodologies. It was a different kind of encounter of two youth groups from different parts of the world.