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By Fr. Maddhichetty Noel SDB
Inauguration of National YaR convention, Don Bosco Navajeevan, Vijayawada.
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New Delhi, Mar. 2. The National YaR convention on ''CARE OF CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES''  and General Body of YaR Forum  was held on March 1-3, 2014. It was hosted by Don Bosco Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada to mark the occasion of the completion of twenty five years of yeoman service rendered to the young at risk. It was the first intervention for the young at risk in Andhra Pradesh. In all 170 Delegates from  YaR centers of Salesians, Salesian Family, other religious and representatives of GOs and NGOs participated in the convention.
The  two day National YaR convention on ''Care of children with Behavioural Difficulties'' commenced with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. Maria Charles, the National Coordinator for Youth Pastoral. In his reflection he said that the way children act and react matter to us very much. Further he said that in spite of the lot of care and affection showered on the children we still find difficult to cope with them. It is in this context that Jesus and Don Bosco become inspiration for us who work with the children and young people.
The Inaugural session commenced at 9 a.m. with the lighting of the lamp and invoking God's blessings through a rhythmic steps of a prayer dance. Following the dance, Fr. Balashowry, the Executive Director of Navajeevan Balabhavan welcomed all the guests and gave a brief and picturesque overview of Krishna district and Vijayawada in particular. Fr. Sudhakar, Province YaR Delegate introduced the theme of the seminar and the resource persons for the day. Fr. Mathew Thomas YaR National coordinator too welcomed all the delegates of the convention in name of the National YaR Forum. Fr. Koshy Thomas moderated the entire programme for the day.
Mr Phani Bhushan, Psychiatrist, Government Medical College, Guntur, the key note speaker shed light extensively on the topic ''BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS OF THE YOUNG AT RISK''.  He said emphatically that emotional wellbeing  of children is as important as their physical health. Child's need to be attached to protective figures is as basic and important as the child's need for food. Speaking further Mr Bhushan said, the three factors namely family, school and society play vital role in molding the children. Mr Bhushan invited the friends of children to create a child friendly environment.
Dr. Diana Montero, the clinical psychologist dealt on the topic ''PSYCHO ETIOLOGY OF BEHAVIORAL DIFFICULTIES IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS. Addressing the group she said that our first tendency is to blame the children rather than their difficult behavioral problems. She exhorted that we need to get into the shoes of the children in order to understand their problems and thereby to find right solutions to their problems by emphasizing the meeting of the basic needs of the children.
In the afternoon session, Dr. Manti dealt with the dynamics of Participatory Action Research in addressing the behavioural difficulties of children.  Representatives from various centers presented their findings of the Participatory Action Research. In his conclusion, Dr. Manti said that Participatory Action Research is an attempt to evolve an effective management strategy to enable the children to get to know their behavioral difficulties and to live responsible lives and transform their relationship.
The day came to a close with the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Navajeevan Balabhavan. As part of the celebrations there was a cultural extravaganza in Thummalapalli Kalashetra, which is Town Hall of Vijayawada. The children from Navajeevan mesmerized the audience with their beautiful and colourful performances.

Fr. Nellam Ratnakumar and Fr. Tom Chowran
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