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  • Leo Abuda

Capacitating Highly Vulnerable Youth through FundLife’s Mentorship Sessions

Tens of thousands of highly vulnerable youth worldwide face barriers to education and livelihood, particularly those living in low-resource communities experiencing high unemployment, gender-based abuse, and violence.

Many of these young people have developed the tools, knowledge, and skills to build a better life for themselves, their families, and communities through the youth development interventions spearheaded by FundLife International.

The Mentorship Session started on February 2021 focusing on the needs and concerns of the youth under the FundLife International program. In every session, the youth mentors always make sure that they establish a safe space where they can openly discuss information and topic.

It was about love, different kinds of love that encompass human life. This was the topic of February’s Mentorship Session. It aims to educate young adolescents about the science and philosophy of love. In a separate session, the boys shared how most of them know little about the different forms of love. They talked about their relationship with the people around them, and Coach John Rex used those stories to emphasize agape or unconditional love, and storge or love for family.

For the girls, Coach Patty had a healthy and enjoyable heart-to-heart talk with them. Aside from educating girls about the different forms of love, she also discussed with them some ways on how they can better assess the relationship they have with different people.

“They realized that love is not just about romance and boyfriend-girlfriend relationships,”said Coach Patty.

The session with the girls concluded through an activity where they wrote letters to people they love, and a letter dedicated for themselves.

For the month of March, topics on How to Attain Genuine Happiness and Youth’s Involvement in Disaster Response. The youth were very enthusiastic and eager as the youth mentors creatively discussed the topic of How to Attain Genuine Happiness.

“Happiness comes from within. It comes from making wise choices, like choosing to be happy. We have to realize that happiness is a product of our mind, so if we want to live a happy life, we should always strive and work on our happiness every single day.” Coach Da explained.

Coaches Da and Bernard facilitated the topic on Youth’s Involvement in Disaster Response for the children of Brgy. San Isidro, Tacloban City. The session tackled the importance of youth involvement on important issues in society like disaster risk reduction.

The children were divided into two groups and were told to write what they can do to help before and after a disaster or calamity occurs. Most of their answers were about ensuring that they follow proper waste disposal, which is a simple but a big help already to their community. Some of them emphasized the importance of following what the authorities like the barangay council, firemen, and police officers command.

By involving youth in disaster preparedness, they will be better equipped to respond appropriately and calm when confronted with an actual event.

For the month of April, a total of 24 youth from Libertad, Palo participated in the mentorship session conducted about Understanding Stress and Stressors. Coach John Rex and Ms. Kim facilitated activities where the youth shared their top stressors and how it affects them individually.

“Fights within the family, our modules, and lack of money stress us the most. We worry over these things. It makes us think many negative things and sometimes we can’t sleep well because of these,” one of the girls shared during a group discussion.

The boys shared their experience through a role-play highlighting school and family demands and expectations and bullying.

"Ang problema hindi dapat tinatambayan, dinadaanan lang." This is what one of the players said during the mentorship session.

The players were able to learn the steps on how to protect or relieve themselves from stress with the tips shared to them by Coaches Patty and Donna. They were also able to assess themselves about the things that easily stress them out. Through the problem-solving activity, they identified solutions to the dilemma they are currently facing.

In the month of May, a mentorship session about Career Path and Orientation were conducted. It was participated by the coaches and players. The sessions were aimed at providing the junior, and senior high school students under FundLife programs to;

  1. Become aware of the actual process that they need to undergo in applying for a job.

  2. Equip them with the values and skills to increase their chances of getting employment.

  3. Develop the value of self-awareness as well as the importance of preparation and time management in their endeavors.

On the first day of the activity, presentations on How to Write an Effective CV and Resume, Parts of CV and Resume, What is Career Path, and Examples of Career Path were discussed. The purpose is to give the participants a theoretical overview of the hiring process.

In the month of June, a session on family relations was conducted by Coach Da and Pao.

"Love is everything, and you can do all things in love. When it comes to family, because of love, you do your responsibilities, you care, and you understand."- Kyle shared, a youth mentor.

On June 29, Coach Pao conducted a mentorship session about the family and the relationship among family members. The youth who participated in the session learned about the types and characteristics of a family. A fun activity was also conducted, where the boys were told to draw their family tree and share a short story about their families.

The boys also excitedly shared their ideal family and what they are determined to do to have a good family life. It looks like these boys are going to be busy working hard to achieve their dreams.

FundLife has always been in the forefront of creating safe space for highly vulnerable youth, where they can unleash their full potential and to dream in color. It is envisioned that through these capacity trainings, the youth under the FundLife program will be empowered in creating a change in the world.

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