One of the main tasks of adolescence is to achieve an identity — not necessarily a knowledge of who we are, but a clarification of the range of what we might become, a set of self-references by which we can make sense of our responses, and justify our decisions and goals.”
~ Terri Apler, psychologist and writer
We all remember the complexities of adolescence — perhaps feeling controlled by our emotions, confused by our changing bodies, pressured by school, while also trying to determine who we truly are. These are the very same feelings the children in India are facing, but typically they don’t have a caring adult to guide them through this phase of life. They don’t have someone who is personally invested in them and willing to discuss and explain emotions, share personal experience, or offer advice on navigating this difficult time of transition. That’s why we offer Life Skills Education to the children we serve!
Life Skills Education (LSE) is a program conducted monthly by Miracle Foundation India trainers, which specifically targets adolescents (children above the age of 12) who live in the children’s homes we support through our N.E.S.T. Program. It currently consists of eleven modules, focusing on eight key areas: effective communication, interpersonal relationships/empathy, problem solving/decision making, nutrition, HIV/AIDS education, goal setting, coping with emotions, and our bodies. Within the next few months, we will also offer training in other areas, such as financial literacy, sex abuse prevention, the perils of substance abuse, and how to cope with peer pressure.
The teens at Sunrise Village have completed the initial eleven LSE modules and the response has been uplifting and heartwarming! Prior to conducting these sessions, Miracle Foundation trainers performed group discussions with the teens and several trends were revealed. Many of the children expressed:
- curiosity about their newly developing feelings of attraction for other boys and girls
- stress about finding a place within the various “cliques,” this was a common worry from the girls
- concern over the emotions of anger, jealousy, and sadness they were feeling
Through interactive activities, games, discussions, storytelling, role-playing, and group work, the children learned about Life Skills topics and how to apply them to their own lives.
Children participating in a fun group activity
The numerous stories and updates from these sessions were very moving. The children were enthusiastic, intrigued, and motivated to learn more! They clearly got a lot out of the sessions.
Here are just a few of the responses the children shared with their trainers:
“I will create awareness about AIDS among people.” (Participant)
“I will help people suffering from AIDS.” (Participant)
“I was not talking with my friend for a long time. After this program, I started talking to her.” (Participant)
“The goal setting session was an eye opener for them, because this is the first time they seriously thought about their future.” (Life Skills Trainer)
One participant shows her gratitude to the trainer
Want to help bring Life Skills Education to more deserving children? Click here!