Youths of Hope - Indeed!!
As a follow up to the last report, the time came for our 40 young leaders to put all their plans to work and to make the camps a memorable time for all.
The Theme of the Camps was "Youths of Hope", which were tailored so that campers would be encouraged and empowered to rise above difficult situations and be a beacon of light and hope to those around them, especially their peers.
There were altogether 2 camps running concurrently, one for the boys and another for the girls. Activities that had been planned for the 230 campers were wholistic in nature, which included station games for team building purposes, fun along the beaches, quizzes and life-skills like learning English the fun way through songs, first-aid skills, new skipping steps, etc..
Campers who came from different centres and provinces, got to "gel" with each other very quickly and effortlessly because the young leaders played their roles of facilitators well,and helped to make campers feel at home and belonged.
Nu, a camper said, "I really enjoyed this camp. At first I was rather apprehensive because I did not have many friends here, but now I have lots of new friends!"
Mink, a young leader reflected, "When I realised that there were so many campers that we leaders were in-charge of, I felt a little overwhelmed, but, then I learnt that if we delegate our duties well and are responsible in fulfilling them, we would accomplish much! Team work is so important"
Truly, the team of young people, together with the campers has proven that in Thailand, there are Youths of Hope - Indeed !
The Foundation would like to thank all donors for your contribution to the task of strengthening our youths for the future, so that they can be the HOPE for the country tomorrow.
We welcome any comments or feedback that would help us instill character and leadership in our young people.
Empowering and Enabling Young People to Succeed
Every alternate year the organisation will give young leaders the opportunity to braistorm, plan, organise and run 2 camps for the young people. This planning by core leaders in their early teens (from around 14 years to 18 years) occurred in May 2013, during a retreat for them. In this retreat, the young people connected well with each other through water sport activities, sat down to brainstorm, and plan for activities in the camps.
Two camps were planned, one for girls, run by the girls and another by the boys, run by the boys. After they went on the retreat to plan, duties were delegated to youths from the various provinces, to further prepare the details for the camps.
As the days of the camp drew nearer these core leaders met to finalise, prepare and rehearse the program that they had planned.
Abigail said," I'll do my best to get my friends to come and help to prepare this coming Saturday" ... and indeed she did round up about 15 of her friends to come to the Foundation's office to help.
For the next 3 weeks,these committed young people did their best to prepare for the logistics of the camps, so that everything from the invitation video, to the decor of the stage, to the name tags, the campbooks and even the details of the teaching sessions were all ready.
Without a doubt, these young core leaders have increased in their self-esteems and personal worthiness, as they know that what they have done will definitely benefit the campers who will attend these camps (about 230 expected).
Said one mother whom we met, about her son who came to help in the preparations, "Thank you for organising activities like these for my son to be involved in. It is very meaningful and definitely builds up my son's character!"
The Foundation is proud of the our young people and will spare no effort to instill good character and leadership qualities in their lives.
Any feedback and comments are most welcome to assist us to better our services to the youth!
The Leader as a Good Shepherd
The Foundation for Life has never lost sight of the importance of good leadership so as to instill in the young people, good character and virtue, which the Foundation strongly believes will help them to go through the turmoils in Life. It is for this reason that great care and attention has been poured into how we train them. The Foundation is also well aware that Action Speaks Louder than anything we can say, therefore, leaders who are involved with the young and the youths have to be people who Walk their Talk.
It was a great honor that the President and Founder of The Children's House Hawaii, Mary Los Banos, has offered to mentor our Leaders in the Way of The Good Shepherd, going through the processes of self-awareness,renewal and rejuvenation of the Leader, so that he / she might be the exemplary model for the young to look up to, and be a yardstick of good morals. Imbedded amongst the subject matter are issues pertaining to one's objectives in life, and how that would motivate us to act out love and care for others (especial to the young people that our leaders have contact with).
The 3 days of training were indeed very enlightening, and refreshing, causing the leaders to take time to pause and reflect our journeys in Life.
"I will make everyeffort to speak with love and gentleness with the children that I work with," said Grace, a leader who has been teaching the children for around 5 years.
Yen-Dee replied,"I think that the Way of the Good Shepherd is how we should approach, anyone that we minister to, what more the young people, whose lives are so precious!"
All who attended, were determined to make changes in either their life-styles or their approach to others, so that the outlook for our young people would be a brighter one.
The Foundation for Life thanks all partners who have untiringly been with is all these years and supporting our efforts to build a better future, through the new generation.
We welcome feedback that will enable us to better our services, and we wish you all the very best, till we meet again via our updates.
The Power of Empowerment
The Foundation for Life sees the importance of Training and Developing the Child and the Youth, so that they become people of Integrity and Character, whom others can look up to, to make a difference to the communities in which they live.
However, for the Foundation to strive to do this, we need the help of partners and supporters to help in the development of the child. We have found that generally the "pillar " of the Family structure, that is, the Dad, is usually lacking or non-existent. After 18 years of working with Children and Youths, as well as their families, the Foundation has "prepared" the grounds for co-operation with Fathers who have a passion for Fathering Matters, as such, a pilot project to gather interested Dads in Thailand was created. After 3 months of intensive discussion and preparations, the fathering workshop was birthed.
The "I CAN" Fathering Workshop
With the help and mentoring from the Founders of Centre for Fathering in Singapore, about 40 Thai fathers gathered for workshops to discuss, share experiences and hone in their fathering skills.
It was a time of 'liberation' as these gentlemen shared and exchanged their fathering experiences with each other in open-hearted discussions, something rather rare for the men of today.
The Trainers then also conducted a special "Train-the-Trainers" course for the fathers who have a burden to pass on this vision to get Fathers in Thailand involved with their kids.
Comments from fathers were: "I knew that fathers have an influence over their kids, but in these Workshops I now realised, just how much Power and Impact Dads have over the lives of their children!", said Mr Phong
"I am impressed by the fact that LOVE=TIME.. I used to give things to my kids, when what they really want is my time!", John relfected.
These Workshops have Empowered the Thai fathers, to make changes in their own lives, so that they will build strong families through their children.
As a result of this, the trained fathers are now beginning to conduct workshops to impact and empower other Fathers for the sake of the children.
All these great starts and work would not have been possible without the support of donors like yourselves. The nurturing and development of Character and Leadership in Children and Youths is strengthed when fathers take up their positions in the homes, to love, protect and be with their kids!
Thank you for partnering us in making the future brighter and stronger for Thai kids! Any feedback to improve our mision is always welcomed.
It takes GUTS to be a Leader!
Come October, come the rainy season, come the National Young Leaders training camps. For a young person to make a decision to come to the leadership camp, it is a decision that takes courage to make. Firstly the young leader knows that he /she will have to endure tough lessons to come out of their comfort zones. They have to make efforts to get to know new friends that they are grouped with who come from different provinces, abide by rules and regulations in camps, be physically and mentally challenged in all that they do, and at the same time be able to serve others with cheerfulness.
It takes a guts for the young person to come to the Leadership Camp. Yet despite it all, nearly 200 campers attended the 4 day training from 13-16 October. The Leadership camps were sub-divided into Leadership Camp for Primary Level girls, Leadership Camp for Secondary Level girls and one just for the Boys!
Once the camp officially opened, the campers were immediately challenged to pack to go on a 5 km hike on a hot afternoon, that would end up with pitching their own tents, cooking their own meals outdoors and then sleeping under the open skies on a field that was drenched with yesterday's downpour, only to be woken up at midnite to move camp.
The tenacity that we saw in these young people amazed the adult volunteers and throughout the 4 days, these young people bonded well with each other, as they learned topics like game leading, song leading, planning for national events, using the 6 thinking hats method, making model planned, beaded brooches, etc. The teens even had the opportunity to experience, rock climbing and practice parachute jumping off a high tower.
All campers proudly ended wth certificates as proof of the vigorous training that they had undergone and they though will miss their new-found friends, they also look forward to next year's training, when they will surely meet again.
"I have made so many new friends from different provinces!" said Jedi
"I learned a lot in this camp, to be a better person" Oil said
Without your donations and support, the Foundation for Life would not have been able to help these young people to find challenge (in a safe enviornment) and meaning, especially in finding value and self-esteem!
Your feedback and comments are most welcome, so that we can improve our services to the young Building Character and Leadership in young lives!
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