Monday, August 11, 2008

BIS # 1055 INTRODUCING LIFE SKILLS INTO YOUTH MINISTRY

Isaac Arackaparambil sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 11, 2008: Education to livelihood has been a key priority in our province in the last few years. But today the province is looking beyond merely helping poor youngsters procure livelihood, to training them for the Life Skills they need in order to win employability and stability in their fields of work. Cognizant of the urgent need to set structures in place in our province so that Salesian Youth Ministry among the marginalized offers the young the necessary life skills for employability and the improvement of their quality of life, DB Development Office Mumbai broke new ground by organizing a ‘Life Skills Training Workshop’ for Salesians involved in youth ministry, from August 8-10 2008 at Provincial House. A group of 20 participants, mainly Salesians, attended this workshop. The purpose of this programme was to introduce the participants to a Life Skills Curriculum with the intention of equipping them to implement the same in their respective areas of work. The curriculum chosen for this purpose was the ‘Udaan – Life Skills Curriculum’. The ‘Udaan – Life Skills Curriculum’ is the fruit of the partnered production of the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and General Electricals Foundation (GEF) – to promote healthy lifestyles, employability and community engagement for young people. Its goals are to help young people: 1) Strengthen personal competencies, such as communication, self-confidence, decision making, and goal setting; 2) Learn about critical health issues that affect them; 3) Develop skills for successful employment, such as effective work habits, teamwork and cooperation, and financial literacy; and 4) Engage in planning and implementing community-based projects to address community problems. It not only teaches life skills but also helps young people learn employability skills that are necessary for them to be successful in the world of work. Ms. Raji Jacob, who is on the staff of BREADS - the Development Office of the Bangalore Province, was invited to be the Resource Person for this training workshop. Qualified as a Leader Trainer from the GE Foundation, Ms. Raji with her unique and graceful demeanor led the group into a three day participatory exploration and execution of various lessons from the Life Skills Curriculum, besides imparting training on the skills and techniques for class presentations in particular and youth animation in general. It is hoped that with this workshop as a starting point, Life Skills Training in our province takes rapid steps forward, thus adding a new and relevant dimension to our youth ministry.

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