by Cl Lawrence Vincent
INDORE, SEP 1, 2016: In a bid to produce honest leaders and to promote value education for peace in the world, Don Bosco Academy, Alirajpur sent 22 students to attend the Universal Solidarity Movement(USM) camp from August 24 to 30 at Indore.
The camp was organised by Father Varghese Alengaden and his team at their head office in Indore. The students were accompanied by Cl Sagar Makasare and teacher Sandhya Damor. The seven-day camp focused on helping participants to work together as leaders of peace. Several movies were screened for reflection, along with input sessions and personal projects to boost self-confidence.
The movies Pratigahat, Dharam, Do Kalakar and Gandhi inspired and motivated the participants to face the reality of our society and focus on the way ahead. The input sessions dealt with the day-to-day issues faced by the society like corruption and religious fanaticism, spirituality and vision.
The personal projects included the preparation and presentation of a speech, 'When I will become Prime Minister of the country', a biography book review, a letter to the editor and a personal report of the training.
Each day ended with the presentation of each one's evaluation of the day. The feedback given by the organisers, improved their writing and public speaking skills. The visit to a slum area and a mall made the participants realise that in a mall people are attracted to things; whereas in a slum people are attracted to each other and the situations are a reality in our country. This experience drew the students to think how such a situation can be improvised.
The highlight of each day was the time allotted for the prayer for peace, where the participants gathered around a table with a lighted candle, to invoke God's presence amidst them. The prayer of peace included readings from different religious scriptures and singing of common hindi bhajans with no preference to a particular religion.
With all the adequate training to be a leader, the students on the last day sat together to draft an action plan for their school, which will be undertaken by them. The plan defined their leadership qualities because a leader leads from the front and always leads by their service to the group.
Finally, for the Graduation ceremony of the camp, Aashita Damor, from standard nine, was awarded the honesty award as the best camper of the training. "This training was most needed for me at this juncture of life," Sonu Bhabor, another standard nine student said.
With these newly trained USM members the strength of their membership has increased. The increasing number of the USM members of the school assures a bright future of young leaders working for change and peace.