Youths trained to help their peers


21-April-2009

    
Mr Toussaint addressing guests and the youth leaders at the opening of the workshop yesterday


A group of young leaders from the districts are this week following a training workshop designed to help them counsel their peers on tackling the many challenges of the period leading up to adulthood.

It is being carried out under the theme Be Somebody to Someone, and its main aim is to build resilient young people who can be both friends and mentors to other youths, which will in turn help to grow strong communities.

The training is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is hosting it in collaboration with the Youth Department and with funding from the Liaison Unit for Non-Governmental Organisations of Seychelles (Lungos).

Speaking at its launch yesterday, Pastor Abel Ntep said it is a step towards resolving many social ills that youths face every day. The youth leaders are, for example, being taught how to incorporate spiritual values into their outreach programmes.

Pastor Ntep said the programme, which has received funding for a year, will help youths realise that they are not alone and that sometimes a friend can make a difference in their lives.

His colleague, Pastor Alex Esparon, spoke of the importance of the programme and noted that other partners – teachers and representatives of NGOs – are to be targeted to play a role in it.

Pastor Michael Bijoux addressed those taking part in the training, telling them not to expect something in return for their good deeds, but instead to be that something to those in need.

He said no one can exist on his or her own and we all need each other, sharing and making our services available to others.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Lungos chairman Bernard Elizabeth said the workshop is one of the capacity building projects this year for which his organisation has received funding from various partners.

He said youths these days are entangled in too many social ills, which are threatening the moral fibre of society, and this is why Lungos decided to take part in the project.

The workshop was opened by director general for youth Emmanuel Toussaint, who said the issue of spirituality has too often been neglected as a tool to free young people’s minds of some of life’s burdens.

He said there is a strong need to revisit youth-related programmes and to include a spiritual component in them.

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