To every generation of young believers comes an opportunity to make a contribution to the fortunes of humanity, unique to their time of life. For the present generation, the moment has come to reflect, to commit, to steel themselves for a life of service from which blessing will flow in abundance. In our prayers at the Sacred Threshold, we entreat the Ancient Beauty that, from out a distracted and bewildered humanity, He may distil pure souls endowed with clear sight: youth whose integrity and uprightness are not undermined by dwelling on the faults of others and who are not immobilized by any shortcomings of their own; youth who will look to the Perfect Exemplar and “bring those who have been excluded into the circle of intimate friends”; youth whose consciousness of the failings of society impels them to work for its transformation, not to distance themselves from it; youth who, whatever the cost, will refuse to pass by inequity in its many incarnations and will labour, instead, that “the light of justice may shed its radiance upon the whole world.”
Regardless of their social situations, young people aspire for spiritual and intellectual growth and “to make a contribution to the fortunes of humanity”. They have many wonderful powers, and channelling them properly is an important concern, for when misdirected or manipulated by others, they can cause much social distress. Among the youth of the world are those alive to the vision of a spiritually and materially prosperous world. Engaging in the programmes of the training institute enables them to see themselves as walking a path of service. Along this path they enhance their capacity to apply divine teachings to the life of society. They understand, that no deed in the world is “nobler than service to the common good”, that “the highest righteousness” is to “arise and energetically devote themselves to the service of the masses”.
With immense pleasure, we would like to share with you that we successfully conducted an animators gathering yesterday on 28.07.2021 at CMS Rajajipuram campus I. 42 animators from class IX, X, XI and XII joined and created a creative and joyful atmosphere. We express thanks to Mr.Harsh Shukla from CMS Anand Nagar Campus and Mr.Sandeep Singh who helped us in systematizing a Program that consisted of prayers, group study on early adolescence and the role of JYEP, experience sharing by class XII animators, planning, and presentations.
It was a well-coordinated efforts of the animators of class XII and other friends. This idea of having a gathering with the animators emerged from a consultation with a few animators of class XII who are passing out this year from the campus. To celebrate their years of experience of serving as animators, we ended up of having an Animators’ Meet with all the animators of the campus.
Plenary and group study:
Program started with the chanting of beautiful prayers followed by a brief introduction of the purpose of the gathering. Then animators were asked to join the smaller groups where they studied a material that talks about the Early Adolescence. This material entails characteristics of junior youth and what makes this age group special. Why is it very important to direct the energies gathered in this age group towards the construction of society? If we fail to achieve, then we know they become the cause of social distress. Also this material presents the prevalent images of junior youth and how they are seen by JYEP.
Having received an enriching understanding of the material, animators took a break and planned some creative ways to express their understanding. Meanwhile animators of class XII started sharing their 3 years of experience.
Prakhar Raj Rastogi: I remember when Sibashis sir came to our campus for the first time and also there was another volunteer from South Africa who has come to help JYEP in our campus. We disturbed them a lot. But when we got to know there is a training for the JYEP and my name was shortlisted, during the training, I realized the deeper significance of the program and I became serious. As an animator also we took up one service project of digging a compost pit. This memory is still fresh in my mind that one day after the school when I and one of friend were standing beside the compost pit and doing some work, all of a sudden Principal Madam came to us. She called both of us to her office. We were kind of afraid but she offered us a glass of water. It was summer time. I can never forget that moment. The way we were treated, the happiness that I had because of that moment, I can’t compare with anything of the world. This program has changed our way of living life. Now we are exposed to many opportunities to serve, to reach out to different strata of people. It all began with the day when we joined the JYEP training.
I feel energetic today. In the lockdown period, I was kind of cut off from everyone. When I interacted with the other animators today in the small group, I felt as if I am back to the days when I was conducting sessions with my junior youth. I also feel proud that the same junior youth who were in my group in class VI now have become animators of another group of junior youth. It is a rare moment for me.
Khushi Agarwal: I have seen many changes in my life. I first would like to thank the school for hosting such an amazing program because we are meeting after a long time and it has freshened up our all memory. I remember one learning that happened when I had a group of junior youth. One day while I was conducting a session with my junior youth, I was called by my teacher. My junior youth group was sitting at primary hall. I left the session and meanwhile Sibashis Sir visited my group. Later he shared with me what change he noticed in my group. Following were his words: “generally when the teacher leaves the classroom, students start making noise and hoot. But when you left the group, I was kind of surprised to see the change. They all took the ownership and were facilitating the text book, doing exercise and continuing the discussion. It seemed there were not one animator but the same animator has created a group of animators. That was the change he saw in my group.”
Planning is an important part of the JYEP as we know the process of preparation, action and reflection go hand in hand. Animators were assisted what areas needs our focus this year and what direction their contribution should turn to. Those who have already formed their group they need to think of what to achieve this year i.e. the number of service project they want to take up, how to ensure the junior youth progress spiritually and intellectually. Those who have not formed group, they may think what preparation they need to make for the formation of groups, what conversations need to be held with the parents of junior youth. Those who are in class 12th and will pass out this year, they may plan how to continue their service. They can serve as a volunteer to this program or they can start a group of junior youth where they settle.
Animators went back to their small groups and engaged in making plans. At the end they all shared their plans with the other animators. Plans that were prepared by animators could be understood this way. Some of them decided to increase the number of service project this year like related to the environment, sustaining natural resources. A group of animator who have not started their group prepared a list of conversations which they want to have with the parents of junior youth such as ‘characteristics associated with the junior youth’, ‘friendly relationship between parents and junior youth’, ‘significance of treating them as a youth not as a child’.
Plan sharing and group performances:
The gathering came to an end with having sharing of plans prepared by each group. Each group presented their plan in a very creative way. An understanding of the whole day’s program was being reflected through the sharing. Each group also had prepared a small presentation. Some of them expressed the concepts of the material through skits and some performed in form of speech.
Program ended up with the blessings of Principal Madam. She appreciated the efforts of the animators who together made this program happen. She asked a few of the animators to come and share what has been learnt throughout the program. With her words of encouragement, animators headed back home with a clear vision. Principal Ma’am suggested that such gatherings should happen once in every month.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to our respected Principal Madam, our dear in-charges and coordinators ma’am, without whom this program would not have been possible. We request your prayers for the success of the plans of animators.