We were delighted to welcome over 150 Lasallian participants to the RELEM-ASSEDIL Gathering which was held by Zoom on the mornings of March 25th and 26th. This Gathering replaced the proposed ASSEDIL Congress which was scheduled for Gdańsk, in Poland, in April, but which has had to be postponed because of the pandemic.
On the first morning, there we video presentations from different Districts illustrating how the Lasallian mission has continued to function effectively despite the restrictions of Covid 19. These presentations were: “La Salle Beirut” and the Solidarity Campaign following the explosion in Beirut in August 2020; “Pandemic: Crisis or Opportunity” from Scampia, illustrating the Lasallian response in a very poor neighbourhood in Naples, Italy; the experience of “Mobile Classrooms” in France which is an out-reach programme to un-schooled children; these presentations were followed by brief interviews from students and teachers from Belgium South and ARLEP speaking about their pandemic experiences. All of the presentations were very inspiring with the Beirut video being particularly moving.
In the group work that followed in the Zoom breakout rooms, participants were asked to share their own experiences through the pandemic and contextualise these presentations in the light of their own Lasallian experience.
On the second morning, students from different Districts in the Region were invited to share their experiences and hopes for post-Covid 19 and this was followed by a presentation by a Belgium psychologist, Mr Bruno Humbeeck on the impact of the pandemic on young people.
The grand finale of the ASSEDIL Gathering was a virtual concert through an excellent and and inspiring video, produced by a student from De La Salle Waterford, Cian Cunningham, in which students and teachers from different countries in RELEM offered song and dance presentations based around the theme:
“We are part of the Miracle. We are all children of God battling two universal threats: the Covid Pandemic and Environmental Destruction. As Lasallians we wish to celebrate how we work together, support and encourage one another, in these great challenges.”