Cologne (Fides Service) - Applications for voluntary helpers for the 20th World Youth Day 11-21 August in Cologne closed with the extraordinarily high number of 31,145 volunteers from 119 different countries. “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” said Christoph Wild, responsible for the WYD voluntary helpers. “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”.
The total number of volunteers enrolled is 31,145 and of these 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 informed with regard to the sector to which they are assigned according to their interests and experience, distributing meals, media-service, information service and preparation of events etc. And all will given a few days training on arrival. (MS) (Agenzia Fides, 6/06/2005 - 19 righe, 248 parole)