KOCHI: A team of youth trainers experimented with a new ‘wake up call’ training in the School of Social Sciences and Engineering at Rajagiri College, Kochi, between the first and third week of August. Four two-day workshops were held at the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate institution as part of a skilling effort to build up young people in leadership and in professional life.
“Christened ‘Crossover’, the innovative youth programme for college and university students is an intensive two-day Inner engineering workshop to discover oneself, enhance better relationships, focus on goals and edit life frequently to make a masterpiece of oneself,” says team leader Fr V M Thomas Vattathara, former chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University and director of national Salesian Consultancy Services.
Around 200 talented and intelligent youth participated in this new venture. The programme is the brainchild of a core team of well-qualified and highly-skilled professionals encompassing the education sphere and the corporate world. The team includes alumni from Harvard University, Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Don Bosco University, and Syracuse University.
An IAS (Indian Administrative Service) trainer for 13 years at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute Mussorie, Fr Thomas says, “The programme was rated high and much appreciated by the students and faculty.”
Former Salesian Provincial of Guwahati province and president of the Conference of Religious India Fr Thomas says, “Salesian charism is chartering new grounds and making forays into new tough grounds in shaping thinking youth. It is a strategic intervention at this critical time to create committed and critical thinking leaders. The programme is aimed at creating a strategic future for the young,” adds Fr Thomas.
A youth trainer for over 40 years and founder-director of Don Bosco Institute for youth services at Kharguli in Guwahati Fr Thomas adds, “Life must be understood backwards to live forward.”
Getting to his training mode speech Fr. Thomas says, “Nothing great can be achieved except by those who dare to believe that there is something in them superior to external circumstances. Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off from our goal,” he says.
Explaining the blended learning techniques his team uses with college and university students Fr Thomas says, “We use lectures, interactive sessions, inspiring and motivational videos, multimedia presentations, role plays, demonstrations, live project works in the teaching-learning process.”
With a mixture of management principles and Neuro-Linguistic programming, he makes them understand that ‘they can create the world of their choice with their thoughts’. Team member and co-trainer Akhilesh Chandy, an alumnus of Syracuse University USA, believes the programme is a modern innovative idea to reach the critical mass of the young who will be the socio-political leaders.