By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
The Apostolic Nunciature to Zimbabwe in partnership with Arrupe Jesuit University’s Center for Ethics, on 27 February 2023 launched the second edition of the Pope Francis Youth Award for Faith and Social Transformation. The event which was held at the residence of the Apostolic Nuncio in Harare, was attended by representatives of different catholic groups, Catholic University, Chishawasha Seminary, Arrupe Jesuit University and leaders of religious congregations.
The Pope Francis Award for Faith and Social Transformation is an annual competition on the teachings of Pope Francis and the Catholic Social Teachings. The award is given to either individuals or groups of young people who demonstrate consistency in faith and social transformation in their schools, communities and churches.
Addressing the gathering, the Papal representative to Zimbabwe, Archbishop Paolo Rudelli encouraged young people to participate in the competition which recognises initiatives by the youth. He added that the Youth Awards focus more on the care for the environment, faith and brotherhood and that the creativity of the youth in demonstrating issues around these and more areas was celebrated and rewarded through the awards ceremony on 30 September 2023.
“The purpose is to spread the knowledge about the social teachings of the Church and to motivate young people from parishes, catholic schools and institutions. Last year we had 25 applicants and this year we hope to receive more participants in the competition,” Archbishop Rudelli said.
The eligibility for application is as follows:
1. An individual who demonstrates in his/her life and work the teachings of Pope Francis and the Catholic Social Teachings in the transformation of his/her school, community or church.
2. A group of young people (less than 30 years old) who are actively engaged in social transformation of their school, community or church based on the teachings of Pope Francis and the Catholic Social Teachings (e.g, Laudato Si, Care for refugees, the sick, the Poor, Youth, Peace etc).
3. Application and cover letter (Formal letter explaining your work of faith)
4. Institutional Recommendation (School, Community, Church)
5. Documented evidence (Pictures, videos etc.)
Young people involved with faith and social transformation initiatives in their communities are encouraged to apply before 30 August 2023 which is the deadline. The awards ceremony will be held on 30 September 2023 at Arrupe Jesuit University. The prizes for the outstanding winners will be US$1000, US$600 and US$400. All applications shall be submitted online to the following email: email@example.com.