Na­tional Sym­po­sium on So­cial Trans­for­ma­tion via Strate­gic Youth Em­pow­er­ment

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Min­istry of Eq­uity, So­cial Jus­tice, Em­pow­er­ment, Youth De­vel­op­ment, Sports, Cul­ture and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with MFH Min­istries In­ter­na­tional, will host a Na­tional Sym­po­sium un­der the theme ‘Hope for the Na­tion — Cre­at­ing a Uni­fied Plat­form for Sal­vaging Our Youth’ slated for Novem­ber 21-23, 2018 at the En­tre­pot Hu­man Re­source De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

The sym­po­sium will sen­si­tize stake­hold­ers on some of the pa­ram­e­ters that are fun­da­men­tal to the suc­cess of an up­com­ing in­te­grated youth men­tor­ship pro­gramme. The event will sig­nal the start of a re­sults–ori­ented na­tional youth men­tor­ship pro­gramme for com­mu­ni­ties through­out Saint Lu­cia; an in­ter­ven­tion which is des­per­ately needed for our youth at this time. It tar­gets church lead­er­ship and a wide cross-sec­tion of other in­ter­ests which in­cludes agen­cies such as me­dia houses, along with pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor of­fi­cials, es­pe­cially those skilled and/or au­tho­rized to han­dle is­sues per­ti­nent to our youths.

The strat­egy, which takes a holis­tic ap­proach, en­gages hu­man­ity on all fronts: phys­i­cally, spir­i­tu­ally and emo­tion­ally, and paves the way to ad­dress a wide range of crim­i­nal ten­den­cies and pre­vail­ing so­cial ills per­me­at­ing through­out our com­mu­ni­ties is­land-wide. A sig­nif­i­cant com­po­nent of the men­tor­ship pro­gramme is its fo­cus on in­creased spir­i­tu­al­ity, such as build­ing mo­ral val­ues, love for self and oth­ers, and re­spect for fam­ily and author­ity. The men­tor­ship strat­egy is one which seeks to curb the de­vel­op­ment and spread of delin­quent life­styles and prac­tices in the na­tion.

MFH Min­istries In­ter­na­tional is a not-for-profit, non-de­nom­i­na­tional faith- based or­gan­i­sa­tion. The mis­sion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion is ‘Pro­vid­ing spir­i­tual, mo­ral and so­cial sup­port to in­di­vid­u­als, groups, in­sti­tu­tions, or­gan­i­sa­tions and sec­tors, restor­ing hope and fos­ter­ing safe and friendly en­vi­ron­ments.’ Its vi­sion is: ‘Suc­cess­ful peo­ple, flour­ish­ing com­mu­ni­ties, a peace­ful na­tion.’

The main ob­jec­tives of the sym­po­sium for faith-based lead­ers are to: 1. Cre­ate a plat­form from which mem­bers of the body of Christ are bet­ter able to join hearts and hands to­gether for a com­mon cause; 2. Mo­bi­lize and equip church lead­ers, pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional en­able­ment in ad­dress­ing the range of is­sues af­fect­ing church youth; 3. Ini­ti­ate a strat­egy for reach­ing and work­ing with youth out­side of the church. This refers specif­i­cally to youth who may be af­fected, or are at risk; 4. Set the stage for in­creased strate­gic in­ter­face be­tween the church and key in­di­vid­u­als, sec­tors/ in­sti­tu­tions, au­thor­i­ties and ex­per­tise — those fun­da­men­tal to the care and up­keep of our youth; 5. In­tro­duce a holis­tic re­sult­sori­ented youth men­tor­ship strat­egy that is ca­pa­ble of curb­ing the de­vel­op­ment and spread of delin­quent life­styles and prac­tices through­out our na­tion; 6. En­able the Church in Saint Lu­cia in strate­giz­ing to in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the cre­ation of a hope­ful and peace­ful na­tion and safer and in­vest­ment friendly com­mu­ni­ties; 7. Dis­cuss the first draft of the Re­vised Pol­icy for Faith Based Or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The main ob­jec­tives for other stake­hold­ers/cus­to­di­ans of youth are to: 1. Cause sen­si­ti­za­tion on some fun­da­men­tals of any ap­proach needed to cause mean­ing­ful trans­for­ma­tion and change in youth; 2. Cre­ate av­enues for longterm part­ner­ships, friend­ships, net­work­ing and syn­er­gies all in the in­ter­est of na­tion-build­ing and as­sist­ing our youth; 3. Cause non-faith-based in­ter­est to rec­og­nize the sig­nif­i­cance of the men­tor­ing method­ol­ogy to be uti­lized and pro­moted; 4. Alert prac­ti­tion­ers on a re­sults-ori­ented soft mea­sure that can be uti­lized in crime fight­ing; 5. Sen­si­tize ex­perts on the work­a­bil­ity of the for­mula ca­pa­ble of healing our land.

The Di­rec­tors of MFH Min­istries In­ter­na­tional are seek­ing to re­cruit suit­able vol­un­teers, that is, in­ter­ested per­sons who can be iden­ti­fied as role mod­els for our youth, and who are also will­ing to con­tribute to their whole­some growth and de­vel­op­ment. Please sub­mit names, tele­phone num­bers, email ad­dresses and skills of per­sons from your church/or­gan­i­sa­tion who are in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing, to: Verna Mar­ion Fran­cis-Henry, Founder and Di­rec­tor of MFH, at mar­ion212@gmail.com, tel. (758) 286 3762.

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