Youth Experience at National Annual General Assembly

(posted: August 18, 2019)

Youth Experience at National Annual General Assembly Hello, my name is Konrad Kundzier from London Ontario's SSVP Youth Conference. This year, I had the chance to go to Windsor for the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul’s National Annual General Assembly.

The youth group on the Thursday of the event got to help out in three main places. The first place that we visited was the Divine Mercy Food Bank. At the food bank, I was able to sort some of the donations for the less fortunate. The second place we went to go to was Ten Friends Diner, which is a non-profit organization for people that suffer with mental health. When we were there, we listened to an inspirational speech from a person named Peter who had a very bad childhood and ended up in jail. His experience was really interesting to listen to and especially how he got himself back into society and his life back on track. The final place we went to was a place called Street Help. We were given a tour of this homeless centre and at the end of the tour, we donated many boxes of hygiene products and we helped pass them out. The Thursday of the conference was my favorite day of the whole AGA meeting because it was the main “hands on day” where we were able to serve in the community.

On the Friday, we went to Leamington to visit a processing plant called, “The Gleaners”. We had a tour of how they take fresh vegetables, dehydrate them and then package the product into bags to ship out to places for the homeless. They receive tons of fresh produce by donation from the local area. After that, we went to a church and heard about the many ways they raise funds/donations for the poor.

On the Saturday, we attended the Plenary and listened to the keynote speaker. Of special interest was listening to the presentation made by the former president Jean-Noel about the history of SSVP. The talk by the President of the International SSVP Renato Lima was most welcoming. We also supported our own London SSVP Youth Conference and went to listen to their presentation about Fast Fashion by Olivia Gioiosa and Victoria Goldsack, which was probably my favorite presentation in general as it was very applicable to my age group.

The whole National Annual General Assembly meeting was amazing; everyone at the AGA was very kind to each other and everyone made an effort to be welcoming, including the SSVP President of Ontario and the Archbishop of Edmonton who both joined us for dinner at our table on different nights. All of the events were very organized and well presented. The whole conference was well structured and from a youth's perspective the meeting was educational, lots of fun and a great first experience.

I am grateful for this opportunity and want to thank those who organized this chance for me to attend.

Konrad Kundzier
St. Louise de Marillac Youth Conference, London

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