Volunteers are keeping busy as the 31st World Youth Day gets underway in Poland. Vatican Radio’s very own Lydia O’Kane is in Krakow, and shares with us her perspective of the atmosphere on the ground.
“It’s all hands on deck at the headquarters of the World Youth Day organising committee in the heart of Krakow. Staff and volunteers have been working day and night to ensure that everything goes to plan and nothing is left to chance. As I look around this office space, apart from the computers, pens and reams of paper, ready meals take up their positions on the desks in these rooms, as busy personnel grab a snack on the go.
All the volunteers, who come from all over the world have a particular job to do. Watching two girls stare intensely at their computer screens, I am told they are working in the international relations department which includes dealing with episcopal conferences around the world. In another area of this building there is more work being done on registrations. As I look for my interviewee my attention turns to two young men gathering up a bundle of World Youth Day reading material, while another volunteer receives her instructions.
So why have they come as volunteers? For many, they have been to a World Youth Day before, some to Madrid, others to Brazil, a number also to both, as pilgrims. But the overwhelming reply I hear from the volunteers here is that they want to give back what they have themselves received at World Youth Day, and where better than the city of Krakow”.