After a pause last year, the 12th-13th In September 2007, a group of people who have a partnership with the Healthy Youth program with our foundation met again.
We had a great two days full of sharing, encouragement, debates over our work and new stimuli.
The Healthy Youth program has existed for 8 years. At this meeting there were two employees who have been working with us for seven years, another two 5 years…
I reflect on this and on our encounter with gratitude and with a look at a number of struggles, difficulties and efforts that are behind us.
- Hundreds of thousands of young people were addressed by lectures
- Leisure clubs and activities have emerged and expanded,
- Many other people are inspired to work among young people in a non-Christian environment.
- We support this program with approximately $ 1.5 million each year.
In many places, the public rightly sees these programs as some of the best in primary prevention.
These facts arose before my eyes when, together with others, I could really enjoy two days in a community of passionate people, whom I consider to be top workers in my field.
In addition to the eight employees that we directly support in their work, there were six other people with us who are their close collaborators or are about to enter the service of lectures at schools. That’s why we took enough time at the beginning to introduce ourselves individually and talk briefly about our work. It was a well-spent time that brought us very close at the beginning, started the first discussions and questions, and of course brought the necessary dose of humor.
We could go even deeper when Martin Stavjaník got the floor. He spoke on the topic: “Motives and meaning of the lecture work – or If we go there, then why?”. Martin brought a lot of inspiration from his rich experience. He introduced the topic, expressed a few key ideas, and then, in his typical listening way, let a very useful debate unfold. This method is increasingly becoming characteristic of his lectures.
We talked about where the boundaries of our work are: what we are here for (and what we can use for schools and the people in them) and what we are no longer for. Freedom from impossible tasks (eg: “We have bullying at school, come ‘fix it’ for us here, you have two hours to do it.”) Protects against burnout; we have a mission for which we are here and for which we must take care of ourselves. The aim of each lecture is only in part to convey certain information: it is much more also a personal meeting with those I serve, sharing what is their problem. Above all, we do not bring them a ready-made recipe for how to solve them, but we bring encouragement, help, liberation from false pressure – all of which young people can encounter in us.
In the next two blocks, two no less experienced lecturers introduced one of their typical lecture topics: Miloslav Fanta from Mladá Boleslav presented the topic “Pornography and the cult of the beautiful body” and Patrik Müller from Liberec introduced a lecture topic on sex education. They explained why they were lecturing on this topic and how young people could grasp it. They both had the difficult task of introducing the topic, similar to school, and they both did a great job. The purpose was to best understand and inspire the style and focus of the work of other lecturers.
There are, of course, non-transferable ways of working: Miloslav Fanta, as a skilled draftsman, accompanies his lectures with illustrative drawings. Not everyone can do that, but after his lecture, some agreed with him if he would make any drawings for them, which they will use in their lectures and at youth events.
In the last block of our meeting, Martin Čechák gave the floor with the topic: “Advantages and challenges of missionary work on the basis of a civic association – or we address the world in a way and language that he understands.”
Martin presented in detail his own search and the history of three years of work in Kroměříž. Gradually, a project was created here, which he presented as “Low-threshold facility Jaspis – support for young people at risk of social exclusion and their resocialization in Kroměříž.”
The form of civic association has become a tool for their work, which at this time seems to them to be an adequate way to fulfill their mission. Martin pointed out the advantages and challenges of this journey. We still debated about these things in our car almost halfway back domů
The meeting in a small guest house in Velký Újezd near Olomouc sincerely thrilled us. We know we need each other and we can be useful. Numerous stimuli arose from the meeting, which can now benefit from our work. Prior to the meeting, we prayed at the foundation, with the board and with partners at International Needs that the meeting would bring real benefits to our work. Thank God for all this and also for you who have participated and served each other. Thanks also to everyone who stands with us in this work, you pray for us, he helps you hate us and support us.
Mgr. Petr Horáček, Executive Director