Record number of volunteers sign up for World Youth Day

 A record number of volunteers has signed up to help at the 20th World Youth Day which is being held frm 11-21 August in Cologne. 31,145 people from 119 different countries have offered their services. Christoph Wild, who is responsible for the WYD voluntary helpers, said: "The number is far higher than expected. When we reached the 20,000 mark we were overjoyed, but the final count reached the extraordinary number of over 30.000. "The number is a clear sign of voluntary commitment in the Church and in society. We are very grateful to all these people for promising their help." Out of the total number of volunteers, 22,272 come from Germany including 12,192 from the archdiocese of Cologne. Over half the volunteers are girls and women. About 1,285 helped during previous World Youth Days. Most of the volunteers (about 25,000) are aged 16-30; 4,000 are aged 31-45; 2,000 are over 46. The last volunteer to sign up at midnight 31 May comes from Canada. At the end of June, the volunteers will be told which sector they have been assigned to, depending on their experience, skills and preferences. Jobs include work distributing meals, media work, information support and the preparation of events etc. All will given a few days training on arrival. Source: Fides

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