Our ministry has been working in a specific slum since for the last seven years, and as a result our workers have developed a good relationship with the local community. We have been working all this time on improving their community, concentrating mainly on education, health, advocacy, counselling, life skills, vocational training, and community involvement. This effort has paid of tremendously, as we have seen the community as a whole improve through women being empowered to support their families, teenage children developing confidence in making decisions regarding their future, and sports activities helping teenage boys use their time in a productive way.
Just last month, a corporation partnered with us to introduce the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme for this slum. Many women from the community applied to be a part of this, but only thirty were selected. They were given brand new sewing machines and wheat grinding machines to start a small businesses from their homes. Most of them have been active participants in the activities we have conducted in their community.
One of our specific areas of focus in this slum has been on life skills, which help to introduce confidence into the lives of those we teach, as well as helping them to stay motivated and positive, despite the outer appearance of their circumstances. These life skills sessions are an important aspect of our work.
We went to a school last month and conducted sessions for the students there called ‘Types of Emotions’ and ‘How to Handle Negative Emotions’. There were two hundred students in their early teenage years, both boys and girls, who actively participated with us. We explained these concepts with the help of visual aids, teaching that coping with emotions means recognizing them within us, and in others, and being aware of how they can influence behavior.
We taught that they should be able to respond to these emotions appropriately, especially intense emotions like anger or sadness, as they can have a negative effect on our health if we do not. They learned about emotions associated with loss, and the coping mechanism recommended for it, and they promised that they would try to apply today’s lessons in their everyday lives. The children there are at a stage in life where their emotions and energy require positive direction, and we are here to provide that as best we can.
Most of the students in this school come from the slum community where we work, so they have been participants in our other programs as well, such as VBS, after school programs, and summer camps. One of the students, says, “I get angry very easily, but today I learned about the negative effects of anger. I will try to control it from now on.” Please remember these children in your prayers.