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''Crossroads'' in Kuwait for Guiding the Youth

By A Salesian Cooperator
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Mumbai, Jan. 23. As some of the Youth prepare themselves to move out of their protective shield in Kuwait for further studies in lands far away, the Cooperators Unit of St Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in the North Arabian Vicariate decided to conduct a special program for them. The objective of this special program aptly titled ''Crossroads'' was to prepare and equip our children with some guidelines for this new phase in their lives when they will experience total freedom.
The Enrichment Program ''Crossroads'' was held on Saturday, January 19 from 9.00 am - 1.00 pm and covered three basic aspects - peer pressure, staying focused and commitment to Christ. It was attended by around one hundred twenty eight youth from grades 9 to 12.

The first topic of the evening on peer pressure was presented by Pearl Barboza a counselor by profession. Through interactive games and audio-visual presentation, Pearl highlighted the psychological aspects of peer pressure and the advantages and disadvantages. Special attention was drawn to the ill effects of smoking and drinking as one succumbs to peer pressure.

This was followed by a lively and engaging presentation by Sunil Eapen, the Managing Director of three companies on staying focused. Through his own testimony and those of leading personalities like Michael Jordan and Albert Einstein, Sunil illustrated to the youth the benefits of keeping the goal in mind and forging ahead despite distractions and temporary setbacks.

Next, two recently married and young adults - Maryanne D'lima and Lloyd D'souza, shared about their journey from adolescence to adulthood. Through their own testimonies, they encouraged the youth to remain committed to Christ along their journey of life as it would provide them with the strength and protective shield against temptations and peer pressure.

Finally, Melissa Mascarenhas, a mother of two young daughters talked about her pride and joy as she watched her children grow and develop into well balanced young adults by prioritizing God, Family and then friends.

Fr. Blany Pinto wrapped up the session with a few words of encouragement to the youth. He advised them that when they reached their new destinations, they should strive to remain connected to their Parish. He encouraged them to join the parish youth groups as they would provide a continued positive influence in their lives. This would help them develop their self-esteem and shield them against peer pressures and temptations. He also advised them to seek guidance from a priest and continue to stay connected to Christ through short prayer.

The youth were extremely appreciative of this program as it touched upon the issues that are most relevant to them. Equipped with the protective shield of Christ and practical guidelines they left feeling nourished and ready to take on world that awaits them!

The Salesian Cooperators, who had organized the event, are a group brimming with life and burning with love for the youth. They have planned various programs for the youth in the coming year. This was the first of their series of ventures they have planned for the youth.
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