Women at Rural Women's Day celebrations
Virtues Project Fiji has been very active these last few months.
Puppets – the puppeteers are about to return to the main island having spent months in the Yasawa Islands with the villages there and teaching the children about the virtues with their puppets. Another report will be forthcoming when they return shortly.
Youth leadership – 25 youth from a church group near Suva came together for a boot camp.
The theme for the boot camp was the Role of A Good Leader a Digital world.
The youth were told that they were not allowed to bring any gadget at all during their camping.
We now live a digital era, where anything and everything seems to be ruled by technology. It was quite amazing to see the youth adjusting them without relying on their electronic gadget.
For the first evening the youth were taught how to light a fire using firewood for cooking. It was a struggle to some of them, but using their virtues of responsibility and unity they were able to light the fire.
Emphasis was given to the youth on the importance of setting clear boundaries as we live in a digital era. They discussed some disadvantage of relying on a digital era, the first most important is to have personal privacy in the digital world and that's on top of the dangers of your personal data being stolen or sold. For instance, everybody has the ability to take photos and video footage on their mobile phone, then post it online.
Employers can search for people online and maybe find unflattering photographs, or see those expressing controversial opinions in social media or blogs. Controlling your personal information is very difficult and sometimes impossible.
There is an increasing tendency for people to socialize and communicate via digital devices rather than through real life contact. This can easily lead to a sense of disconnect and isolation.
As part of the program youths were taught some life skills program by some skilled trainers to help them enjoy what real life is.
The youth were asked what are the first thing you see each morning and the last thing you see before you fall asleep at night.
Is it the face of your loved ones, a book, or the icy glow of an electronic device? While we would all like to believe it’s the face of our significant other, it’s more likely our smartphone screen.
We’re drowning, but it’s not because of the technology itself. Rather, we’re participating in our own demise by failing to set healthy tech boundaries
Setting boundaries around technology use is a great first step towards controlling the flood of technology in our everyday lives. Although it can be difficult to create new habits, after a period of adjustment you’ll find you are happier and more present.
It was so amazing during our weekend there was no disturbance for any phone call or message since everybody was concentrating and enjoying what is like when living in a world without digital technology. There was a lot of team building where youth were taught how to catch fish, swimming, playing cards, putting traps for wild pig, making camp and evening story telling sitting around the campfire etc. There was a sense of connectivity amongst the group. The youth have more time sharing their stories and listening to their friend stories. They were able to work together collectively in making decision for their day to day program.
The outcome of the camp is that the youth understand how to set clear boundaries for themselves to be able to keep them safe in living in a digital era.
Working with Human Rights issues -
I was able to attend the training and did presentation on the invitation that was given to us to address Grassroots Responsiveness to Human Rights Abuse. I shared on our tools and also stories of our prison program and also families and communities which also address human rights. The two days workshop discussed mainly the UN Mechanism on Human Right. What strikes me how our program can also weave into the human rights program. A qualified psychotherapist who came all the way from India to talk on how to counsel people who have their rights being abused. She asked me how I deal with my situation in Fiji I mention that we use spiritual companion tool. She asked a personal question to me what is my coping mechanism since its a very stressful event when you working with inmates. I told her that I used my detachment and also it took me 3 weeks to cope with reality by sharing stories with my husband and do recreational program with my children. She really acknowledge my answer and told me that I have a very good coping mechanism. She mention that detachment is so much important in counseling.
I showed them how the river of life activities work by sharing one of our group member story. It is so shocking how this youth has been sexually abused by his seniors while he still in year 1 & 2 at a boarding school in Yasawa. The participants were really shocked on how appalling was his story and what really amazed me once he reach the stage of being push around by family member left school at form 3, smoking and even wanting to commit suicide he had some positive friend who encourage him to remember that he has a purpose on his life. The facilitator really knowledge our river of life activity.
The workshop was a very successful one since they have acknowledge the work done by Virtues Project Fiji.