Empowerment of Youth Groups and Movements in Salesian Settings
The Youth Department of the Province of Kolkata organized a two-week Youth Empowerment Programmes for the youth of the districts of Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Dumka and Katihar. The main objective of the event was to empower the youth and build the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), in all the Salesian Parishes and consolidate the existing groups.
The animation team comprised of Br Lawrence Mondal the Youth Director of the Province and Br Bijoy Ghosh a student of Theology from Sacred Heart College, Shillong, moved around the Salesian Parishes organizing motivational programmes for the youth. This venture lasted from 15th – 28th July 2017.
The animation team together with the help of the Parish Priests and Youth Delegates of the communities, animated the youth of various parishes like Kalyani, Liluah, Bandel, Muktinagar, Azimganj, Polsandamore, Berhampur, Joypur, Boropahari, and Katihar.
Br Lawrence Mondal in his presentation emphasized on, “The Salesian Youth Movement – a special expression of Don Bosco’s Pedagogy. Don Bosco realized the importance of getting together to form groups. In Don Bosco’s life that seemed to arise spontaneously, as an expression of his temperament which was naturally inclined towards being open to people and making friends. Bringing young people together in groups is a kind of preventive project that Don Bosco wanted to establish.”
Br Mondal while motivating the youth also mentioned, “By working together, the young people can bring out their best potential. Experiences around the world, including in India, have shown that youth active citizenship is an effective strategy for promoting youth development and leadership for social change.”
The team observed that young people are very enthusiastic about being empowered and contributing towards the church and society, but they are in need of support and guidance from us Salesians as well as periodical follow-up through meetings and animations. By animating and empowering the youth groups we can help the young people to be stakeholders of the development and change that they see in the society.
Every Salesian house must have a vibrant youth group. Training young people to be independent and responsible is the goal of this vibrant youth groups. Through these groups we can and we must instill and nurture a spirit of volunteerism among the youth; develop their competences in various areas of social development; and extend opportunities to enable them to contribute productively to the welfare of the society.
It is hoped that every Salesian House in the Province of Kolkata shall avail such empowerment and animation programmes for the young people.