Sixteen women and men youth leaders from eight faith-based communities participated in the Manual training workshop in the city of San Salvador. The objective was to share the Manual as an instrumental tool to be implemented in each of the religious communities’ educational processes, with a participative approach.
The sessions began with a welcoming and initial moment for spiritual expression, with a prayer lead by each of the participants. Introductions followed, and each shared the way they planned on implementing the Learning to Live Together Manual, as well as their expectations for the first day. Later, the essential components of the Manual were presented, such as the Arigatou Foundation, the Interfaith Council, GNRC, and core Manual concepts. Upon presenting the core concepts, each participant took a turn to write down their personal definition for each: Children, values, ethics, interfaith, and spirituality. These were later shared in a group brainstorm.
The first day focused on general aspects of the Manual, and Module 1-Understanding Self and Others. Work was done to conceptualize the Manual’s core values: Empathy, Respect, Responsibility and Reconciliation. This was done through a play-activity that really caught the participants’ interest. They also had the chance to experience a moment of introspection with the activities called “Mandalas” and “Joyful Appreciation.” The session at the end of the first day was dedicated to the study of the learning process by implementing an activity that encompassed all the elements of the process: Motivation, Exploration, Dialogue, Discovery, Reflection, and Action. The activity is based on the Golden Rule, which is a common thread in all religious traditions.
The Workshop’s second day focused on exploring the Kiosks that comprise the first module. The participants had the opportunity to put to use their abilities as educational process facilitators in their own communities, by choosing one of the Kiosks and settling on a creative way to present it. Some people made use of activities suggested in the Manual, while others drew upon their own methods.
The final day focused on the second module, “Transforming the World Together” and used the same methodology as the day before. The workshop closed with each of the teams designing an action plan for their religious institutions.
Now the challenge is to put all the knowledge and capacities shared in the workshop into practice, and insure the implementation of a follow-up and monitoring system that will make it possible to measure the impact on the life of the children and youth beneficiaries.
Some of the participants’ expressions regarding the training:
“We hope to be able to reproduce this atmosphere of fraternal love when we reproduce the Manual. Your sister in faith of our only God of love.”
Reverend Cecilia Alfaro
“No doubt I will share the experiences with our community and in this way expand the way we support what is so necessary for the children: the construction of the Kingdom of God on earth.”
Bahá’í Community of El Salvador
For me, the three days have been unforgettable. I ask the God of life that what I have learned not only be registered in my mind but in my heart as well.
This project will be possible only through our heartfelt devotion.
Together we can change, transform society, and have an “Appropriate world for children.”
José Domingo Peña
Centro Bartolomé de las Casas
Written by Gabriela Velis
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