Youth are citizens and the future of the nation. Their strong spirit is vital for the country’s development. Just like what it is said: ‘youth are the nation’s development force’.
To get adolescents ready and equipped with the 21st-century life skills and life resilience and allow them to thrive and become productive citizens who propel the nation forward, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT)’s Area Programme 01 (consisting of Ban Pae, Om Koi, and Mae Taeng Projects in Chiang Mai, and Huai Rong Project in Phrae), has organised World Vision Youth Life Skills Camp to provide knowledge and develop life skills for 36 teenagers from these project areas. ‘Ton’, a youth trainer from the Shelter for Children and Families, and ‘Phum’, the president of Youth Council and a World Vision youth leader, both of whom have completed the youth life skills workshop under the Positive Youth Development Project – part of the WVFT’s age-appropriate development implementation, have also served as co-speakers to pass on knowledge to their peers.
Besides giving youth knowledge to develop the 21st-century life skills, including learning and innovation, information technology and media, life skills and vocational skills, and volunteering spirit, the camp has also cultivated these young people to learn to live in harmony, gain confidence to express themselves constructively, develop volunteer mindset and build life resilience against dangers from online social media, human trafficking, domestic violence, and violence against children.
Aside from providing the youth knowledge, this training event has also invited the kids to contribute ideas and offered them an opportunity to create projects that can solve problems in their hometowns. A range of activities has been initiated, eg nature and environment conservation, anti-drug campaign, teen mom prevention, ending violence against children and women, and youth volunteers project for community development. All of them are not just fancy concepts but will be built upon and put into practice by the efforts of these young people.
Paeng, a young girl from Ban Pae Project, Chiang Mai, shared about what she gained from the camp: ‘I gained lots of experiences and learned about teamwork and volunteer mindset. I got to explore my own community and myself. I gained more self-esteem. I leant about time and self-management that can be applied in my studying. I learnt about how to properly communicate and help my schoolmates. I have an intention to be a mentor for anyone seeking advice about studying, having a relationship, teen romance, and self-protection’.
John, a World Vision youth leader from Mae Taeng Project, Chiang Mai said proudly as a co-trainer at this camp: ‘From this World Vision’s training, I gained knowledge, self-development, and self-transformation. I developed my self-confidence and become a speaker. We thought about the actual problems we were experiencing and developed projects and activities to respond to these problems. We’ll do a project that tackles narcotic drugs and violence against children and women’.
‘I thank WVFT and my sponsor for supporting me to become who I am today. I’ve developed my capacity and gained self-improvement’, Ba, an adolescent from Huai Rong Project, Phrae, said while smiling.
WVFT carries out the Positive Youth Development Project as part of the WVFT’s age-appropriate development strategy that is implemented in 42 project areas across all regions nationwide to ensure that all children and youth realise their potential, develop their strengths and readiness, and grow into quality adulthood.