Interacting with young people

The beliefs and dreams of young people are often challenged by a violent reality. Violence often shows its ugly face at school, during their free time, or even at home. We believe that adults have a responsibility to facilitate a safe and creative environment for young people.

PARTICIPATION – THE GOLDEN KEY FOR UNDERSTANDING

We also believe that the key to success is to allow youth to participate in the process of change and to show respect for their need to be creative and active in changing their own environment.

While the demands of academics, exam results, and grown up expectations are many, it is essential that time is given for non-formal discussions and positive action regarding everyday life skill issues like friendship, non-violence, self-esteem, peace and respect.

This need for young people to be introduced and acquaint themselves with the keys to these issues was the motivation behind our idea to initiate a non-formal education program.

CHANGING BEHAVIORS

In order for young people, or any one of us for that matter, to change negative behavior, and be able to reflect calmness and a peaceful mind-set, we need to:

1. Gain new knowledge

  • Learning what self-esteem is, and understanding why it is important to develop.
  • Learning what conflict is, why it arises, and how it escalates.
  • Learning about non-violent strategies, and understand how and when to use them.

2. Learn new skills

  • Listening and communicating: Being able to listen to different points of view, express one’s own opinions, values and rights, and also be able to understand those of others
  • Thinking critically: Having the ability to make decisions on the basis of reasoned judgment.
  • Working cooperatively: Having the ability to work with others and to address conflict positively.

3. Develop new attitudes and values

  • Responsibility: Having an understanding of the consequences of one’s actions; a commitment to personal development and social change.
  • Curiosity: Having an open mind and an appreciation of diversity.
  • Empathy: Having the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.
  • Human dignity: Having a feeling of self-worth, and an appreciation of others’ worth, regardless of social, cultural, linguistic, or religious differences.