by Susan D'costa
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 31, 2014: Expat children living in Kuwait who have completed Grade 12 need to move overseas for further studies as no international schools are permitted beyond that level. Their teenagers thus reach a critical "crossroad" in their lives, needing to make some tough career choices. As they set out into this new-found independence at such a tender age, they are faced with many more "crossroads" both in their careers and in their daily lives.
Keeping this in mind, the Salesian Cooperators conduct an annual programme called "Crossroads" to provide these youngsters with skills for coping with all the decision-making that lies ahead of them. This year it was held on October 25, 2014. 'Crossroads 2014' was well attended by around sixty five youth from grades 9 to 12 and covered four basic aspects: Making right decisions in life and spirituality, Types of personalities and careers we choose, Choosing the right job and Studying in a relaxed atmosphere.
Dr. Joshy Kuriakose, a counselor at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Kuwait conducted the first session of the seminar which was focused on decision-making. Through dialogue, Dr. Joshy highlighted the psychological aspects of pressure from parents. He went on to illustrate to the youth, the benefits of keeping their goal in mind and forging ahead despite distractions and temporary setbacks. All along, he encouraged them to never lose sight of God, keeping prayer in their heart at all times.
This was followed by a lively and engaging presentation "Love what you do and Do what you love" by Mr. Christopher Pereira, a Salesian Cooperator and HR Manager of a reputed company in Kuwait. Together with his own testimony and those of leading personalities like Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, Christopher demonstrated that everyone was unique, "we are all different and it's absolutely fine." He further explained the different personality types and discussed best jobs for every personality type. "I liked the topic on personality because you know who you are and what category you belong to" remarked Eulisa Fernandes in her feedback form.
Next, Mr. Bradley Eiffe, HR Director of a Company in Kuwait, helped students become aware of the variety of career choices available in the world and assisted them in discovering the most suitable options for them individually. Despite the somber topic the youth were regaled with storytelling, laughter and camaraderie. Dr. Joshy then, once again took over and this time addressed the youth on the benefits of good study habits. Studies should not be interrupted with other distractions as he shared, "if one dedicates an hour for studying, then that hour should be dedicated only for studying". He led them into a brief meditation to illustrate the benefits of this technique. Joshua Shaju in his feedback form mentioned "I liked Dr. Joshy's talk as it made me more confident".
Throughout the day, their cooperator, Ursula and compere for the event kept the youth from getting lethargic through innovative games which kept them on their feet and active. Fr. Blany Pinto closed the event with a final prayer and Susan D'costa gave the vote of thanks, being specially grateful to all the Cooperator volunteers who worked tirelessly in organizing the event.