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Love and Light

Youth Wing - National Youth Meeting

21st January 2012

The New Year started with great hope and anticipation for the Nationís Youth. Youth across the UK gathered at the first National Youth meeting of 2012 with the purpose of sharing their ideas and thoughts on the Youth Wing.

The day began with emotionally charged group devotional singing, enabling us to focus our minds on Swami and this set the tone for the important day ahead. This was followed by an inspiring video presentation of a compilation of Divine Discourses given by Bhagawan about the importance of Self-Confidence and Faith.

Our National Chair, Dr. Kiran Patel then addressed the youth. He explained how the youth are the future of the Organisation and society and that it is very important that we start work immediately in serving the community.

National Youth Co-ordinator, Shyam Jamnadas welcomed the youth and explained the importance of sharing ideas and experiences so that the vision for the Youth Wing in 2012 has maximum contribution from the entire Nationís youth.

The youth then divided up into workshops, to explore four fundamental questions, and after much deliberation, honest and sincere thoughts were shared:

  1. When do you see the Youth most engaged/involved with the Organisation? What disengages the youth?

    - Youth feel most engaged when they are involved and given responsibility Ė with Regional/National events and Youth Satsangs. The diversity of youth across the UK also came through as many youth enjoy different types of activities (spiritual/service/SSE).

    - Youth feel disengaged when trying to balance work/study commitments with centre, regional and national activities and also when they do not feel unity or support.

  2. How can we, as a National Youth Wing serve the youth on their spiritual journey and grow their connection with Swami?

    - Working with the other wings and seeking support from Sai Students came up as a key theme as well as momentum of activities to keep youth interested and inspired.

  3. What challenges are facing youth today? How can we as leaders support them?

    - Many ideas were born with the third question but the key theme was about momentum. Keeping activities regular in order to generate inspiration. This again touched upon balancing everything, which started a debate that work/life commitments and spirituality should not be seen as separate, but as one.

    - In terms of support, a mentoring scheme was suggested, with elders sharing experiences and answering questions that youth may have on challenges they are facing.

  4. How can we, as a National Youth Wing, serve the community in which we live?

    - The fourth question was interesting as it became clear that the service needs of each Region were different. Each centre and region should serve where there is a need as regularly as they can manage.

    - These questions were further explored in an open group discussion amongst the youth with questions being answered by Dr. Kiran Patel (National Chair), Jamie Raju (Vice National Chair) and Ketan Gokani (Region 4 Chair).

The group discussion and output from the workshops were summarised and used to finalise this yearís vision for the Youth Wing. This was presented at the National Orientation and Welcome Day.

The youth left with the understanding that there is much work to be done, but with an intense feeling of love and inspiration. It is important that the youth from each Region share ideas, communicate and collaborate closely over the coming months to have greatest impact on any activity we undertake. Together we will work with unity to make the vision of the Youth Wing a reality.

We sincerely thank Swami for bringing youth from across the country together and look forward to an exciting year ahead.

Shyam Jamnadas
National Youth Co-ordinator