Much has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges nations face has become amplified as a lot of people are displaced, many continue to be hungry, economies are down, borders remain closed and millions infected by the virus.
I Choose Peace is our invitation to every Lasallian, as we virtually come together for this year’s ILDP. We encourage each one to continue to choose making our world a better place and to choose peace even in the simplest of situations. As we continue to be confronted with re-emerging societal issues of violence, racism, inequality and poverty, let peace be our guiding principle in responding to the signs of the times.
During the ILDP month, thousands of Lasallians came together through various online gatherings and programs. Districts and diﬀerent Lasallian groups organized activities wherein Lasallians from any region can participate. This allowed greater networking, dialogue and collaboration.
The celebration began with an opening program last September 21 which was broadcasted live on the Facebook and Youtube channels of La Salle Worldwide. The ILDP 2020 launch started with an opening message from Br. Robert Schieler FSC, Superior General, encouraging Lasallians to take action amidst the social injustices we face today. The online gathering was also able to provide a space to continue the dialogue regarding the situation in Lebanon and the La Salle for Beirut campaign initiated by the Solidarity & Development Secretariat. This was followed by a prayer service & reflection organized by the Young Lasallians Council from Europe and the Mediterranean. The program concluded with Lasallians from diﬀerent Districts and groups promoting their ILDP projects to encourage participation from the global Lasallian network.
Here are some of the online gatherings that took place during the ILDP month: September 21 – Global Prayer Service organized by DENA
- October 7 – Prayer Service and Reflection organized by the ARLEP District
- October 12 – Justice and Peace forum organized by the District of Centroamerica- Panama
- October 16 & 17 – Choosing to be Catalysts of Peace: an online conference organized by the De La Salle University Student Government | Manila, Philippines
- October 21 – Observance of Peace organized by RELAN
During a time when the conduct of projects and activities has mostly been online, we have seen an increase in content creation & resource sharing. One example is the ILDP resource that the IGBM District provided for Lasallians. Many other materials were
produced, such as videos, posters and even songs — all sharing the message of I Choose Peace!
ILDP 2020 concluded last October 21 with an online concert: Voices for Peace — broadcasted live, once again, on the Facebook and Youtube channels of La Salle Worldwide. This event served as a platform to promote action towards peace, this time, through music. Diﬀerent Lasallian talents from Hong Kong, Argentina, the Philippines, France, Singapore Australia, Lebanon, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Norandino, Bolivia-Peru, Mexico, Brazil, RELAF and IALU were showcased in the 3-hour online event. The program also featured conversations with the Superior & his General Council and the International Council of Young Lasallians (ICYL).
As mentioned many times from the comments of Lasallians during the live broadcasts: these celebrations, online gatherings and all the other ILDP projects have been truly inspiring and motivating. It was a moment of solidarity within and outside the international Lasallian community advocating for peace and at the same time, strengthening our commitment to the Lasallian education mission — together and by association.
Let us go beyond the calendar days of ILDP and continue the dialogue promoting peace and to take action toward a just, humane and peaceful society.