The power in our youth

Today I am wounded. My mind is with the pershmerga, it’s with our yazidi brothers and sisters who have no food and stuck on Mount Sinjar. My heart is with the girls and women who were kidnapped – some raped, others sold. Yet, my life has to continue. I am a guest, hosted at the amazing city of Slemani, my friend and I are training young people peer education skills so they can go to high schools and in their own colleges do life skills sessions for their peers and other youth.
group work!

 

There is something special about training youth. For five days from early morning till early evening I am with 20 young boys and girls. I we (my colleague and I) become part of their life, I begin to understand their different personalities and see the great side of each and every single one of them. Good bye becomes difficult.
One of the sessions today on emotions and anger management

 

When I am training and working with young people I go to a different world. I love working with people my own age. I still say my own age, even though I am constantly reminded that in few years time I wont be able to classify myself under this category of young people, Anyyyyhow… Today I learned one of them is a cancer survivor, another has lost her father yet she is determined to keep going, another was absent today because her father is having an operation. In five days you get to really know some of them closely. Even the very quiet who rarely take part in the group conversations, they still have a lot to express, they have good things to say.

An activity/ session on inequality in society-

I see these young people grow as individuals; I see them become close friends. I watch them share facts about themselves and their lives with their peers that they wouldn’t normally do.

Sometimes we go an extra mile to make a point

I love seeing these young boys and girls laugh till their tummies hurt; And sometimes I see their tears. I am a firm believer there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ young person. Although their society and their experiences take them on a certain path – a path that may not always be the best choice. They are at an age where you can mould them how you want, therefore, a very sensitive time in their life. We must invest in our youth if we want a prosperous future for our country.

Friendly discussions

As I write this I am listening to so much chaos, so much noise; I am listening to shouting, to negotiating, to laughter to NOs and Yeses, to energetic voices explaining different things. They are preparing to do an interactive theatre performance on violence and its different forms.

Using materials to send messages through

The young people in my country have gone through tough experiences. Some of them have witnessed genocide, some of their fmailies have gone through times that no one can imagine. With no doubt this has impacted who they are, how they act and what they think. Sometimes the youth in my coutry can feel lost. Lost between the older generation and their parents expectations and between their lives now and peers’ expectations – lost between mountains and technology – lost between who they are expected to be and who they really are.

I hope in the little things we do we can be a positive force in allowing young people to find themselves in order to better adapt to a fast changing society. I dream of the day where our students in schools across Kurdistan can have this Peer Education program in their curriculum.

 

They are about to begin their sketches. Gosh! I love how motivated this group is! Better go. Bye for now!

My friend and co-trainer,  R.B., at times we laugh our tears away

Until next time, much love from My Nest…
in Kurdistan
Saza,

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