World Youth Congress
Musical therapist and teacher of Sahaja Yoga, Celeste Jones, is set to attend the 2008 World Youth Congress in Quebec, Canada. Kurrajong Heights’ Celeste Jones is one of a select group of youths meeting in Canada later this year, to search for ways to combat the many crises facing our modern world.
In August she will join 600 young leaders from throughout the globe, to participate in the fourth World Youth Congress, “ReGeneration 2008”, in Quebec.
The World Youth Congress is a project funded by Peace Child International, which aims to bring together young people from the age of 18 to 30 who have a passion for sustainable development.
A total of 15,000 youths applied to attend this year’s congress.
Delegates will join forces with young Canadians to undertake hands-on community action projects across Quebec.
They will help shape international policy by documenting and showing governments what young people are doing to achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, which include halving poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, promoting gender equality and reducing infant mortality.
Ms Jones, 25, will attend the congress along with a group of friends, as an advocate of Sahaja Yoga.
“A group of us applied as delegates so we put in our application as the Sahaja organisation,” she said.
The group travel internationally teaching Sahaja Yoga meditation techniques, which promotes attributes such as inner balance, peace and “self realisation”.
“It’s just a very simple meditation technique that takes a few minutes, and once you’ve learnt it you can teach anyone,” she said. “Whatever we do is always free — it’s just for other people’s benefit. We get a lot of joy out of it.”
As part of attending the World Youth Congress, Ms Jones and the Sahaja group were asked to submit a development project illustrating the ways her organisation is taking action.
They plan to spend time in Rome working with Gypsies, teaching Sahaja Yoga and musical therapy, and helping them re-establish their cultural roots by empowering the youth.
But the project is just one of many for Ms Jones and her friends, who have established meditation programs around the world.
“A lot of my other friends, they live in all different countries,” she said. “They organise various events and then we go and join them and do all sorts of things.”
The trip to Canada will be her second encounter with the World Youth Congress.
Ms Jones is a trained musician and musical therapist as well as an accomplished artist, and attended the last congress in Scotland three years ago as a cultural performer.
For the 2008 World Youth Congress Ms Jones has applied as a delegate, which will give her a greater role in the discussions and decisions made at the event.
For more information on the World Youth Congress, go to www.wyc2008.qc.ca
By Tegan Osborne, Hawkesbury Courier