WORKING WITH OUR AT-RISK YOUTH
June 8, 2009 § Leave a comment
Yesterday morning was filled with excitement as we were scheduled to minister to a group of young people that are faced with many of the same issues all of today’s youth are faced with. In addition to the pressures of just living in today’s world, drugs are being shoved at this young people as a solution to all their problems. Drugs, as they soon find out, are not a solution to anything but are instead a greater problem with which to deal.
As I was preparing myself to work with these young people I was feeling so blessed and privileged that the team and I had been given the opportunity to speak to and steer yet another group of youngsters to the right path.
Bradley, Clinton and Dylan (the guys I work with) and I were the team selected to take on this particular task. Our plan was to run a program consisting of a number of activities designed to both serve as ice breakers and to demonstrate the importance of teamwork. We would then base or talks around these particular activities. This is what the program looked like:
Introduction – Bradley Naidoo
Talk on Honoring – Brent Williams
Talk on Mentors – Dylan Liversage
Talk on Obedience – Clinton Liederman
Talk on Choices – Bradley Naidoo
Everything went well during the open gathering and we got a good response from the crowd. We then decided to break up into smaller groups according to age and hear from the youth regarding what they are facing on a daily basis.
One young boy in my group shared that he is offered drugs on a daily basis at school. Rather than go for the hard drugs he opted to smoke “soft drugs” like dagga (weed) so that he wouldn’t feel left out of what others were doing.
On the subject of relationships one of the guys said that his girlfriend gives him a lot of stress. He shared that it hard to handle and shared with us that he goes often to drink beer after a stressful encounter with her. He told us it relieves his stress.
One of the guys said he was once forced to smoke methamphetamine (speed) with the older guys he was hanging out with. They locked the door and threatened him and his friend with harm if they didn’t smoke the speed.
I could see clearly that these young people need to learn coping skills and that when faced with these life stresses they need to be encouraged to go to one of their teachers to get help in dealing with it and talk it through. We, here at the Center can be helpful to them if they are willing to come to us and accept our help.
These are but a few cases and a few examples of what our young people face out there today. It’s tough for young people today and we need to be there for them with love, not judgment. The idea is to give them the tools to keep them from messing up, but if they do mess up we must be there to offer a helping hand. The young people of today are the future of this world so we need to protect and teach them the proper way. I love working with youth and I thank God that He has placed me within an organization that does this type of work.
Sending a big thank you to the Impact Team and especially our group leader, Bradley Naidoo…you guys are an inspiration to me