The core of every Salesian vocation is the predilection for the young and every Salesian centre is a setting for youth ministry. The Salesians carry out a lot of educational and other formal youth development activities in the province through schools, colleges, technical institutes and parishes. Youth programmes are organised for young both within the formal as well as non-formal settings. However, there is need for specific settings and concentrated effort in this field even in a non-formal way. Therefore in Dimapur Province the youth ministry is chiefly coordinated through Don Bosco Youth and Educational Services (DBYES).
A. DON BOSCO YOUTH EDUCATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES (DBYES)
Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) was established in 1992 which was later renamed as Don Bosco Youth and Educational Services (DBYES) in 2000. DBYES is the youth development wing of the Salesians of Don Bosco, province of Dimapur, and it carries out non-formal youth development work in Arunachal Pradesh, upper Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. Chartered to serve youth at large, DBYES has launched into a multi-pronged service-system consisting of career guidance, personality development, cultural, educational programmes, entrepreneurship, creating awareness in health, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, Scouts and Guides, etc.
1. To be creative and daring in reaching out to young people, especially those at risk.
2. To offer to young people skills, opportunities and choices to improve the quality of their lives and to minister to their peers.
3. To inspire and enthuse young people to be persons of integrity and vision, competent and committed to building up a more just and humane society.
4. To play a networking and leadership role in the region in providing resources and expertise in the field of youth and youth ministry.
1. Positive Regard: We believe in the innate goodness of young people and their capacity for heroism and self-giving.
2. Mutual Respect: We value at all times the dignity and worth of all young people in the diversity of their cultures and circumstances.
3. Total Quality: We judge ourselves by the witness of our lives, the quality of services and their relevance to the specific situations of the young people of the region.
4. Equity and Justice: We strive to ensure that everyone irrespective of sex, race, colour, class and religion has equal opportunity for expression and for utilising his/her potential
5. Participation: We ensure an ambience of collaboration and invite young people to active participation in youth ministry.
6. Honesty and Transparency: We are committed to be accountable for the effectiveness of our actions and to be open in our judgements and communication.
7. Humility: We recognise that we are part of a bigger alliance in the cause of the young and that our presentation and behaviour at all times ought to be modest.
Training programme offered
1. Challenges in education today
2. Teacher effectiveness
3. Personality development
4. Living by objectives
5. Community building
6. Time management
7. Career guidance
8. Training in inter-personal relationship
9. Summer time youth ministry.
10. Training youth ministers and animators
11. Salesian Teachers Orientation Programme (STOP)
12. Educative Pastoral Planning (EPP)
13. Media awareness
14. Salesian Animators Leadership Training (SALT)
15. Scout Masters basic course
16. Salesian youth leaders meet
B. SUNDAY ORATORIES
1.0 Rua Home, Jorhat
Rua Home, Jorhat, Assam, is a Salesian aspirantate and the pre-novitiate house of the province of Dimapur. The Sunday oratories help the young aspirants to get a taste of the Salesian mission and the typical Salesian youth ministry. The oratory activities are a help to create in them an interest for the youth activities and the importance of the youth ministry in the life of a Salesian. The aspirants of Class XII go to the oratories on every Sunday afternoon. They walk to the nearby villages and tea gardens and meet young boys and girls whom they would teach, instruct and organise other activities. Each group of aspirants have a leader who knows the local language. In 2007 there are six oratory centres and including the Juvenile Home to render our services. 23 aspirants were engaged in the oratory apostolate. They make use of the village school buildings and tea garden schools to gather the children and conduct programmes.
1. Basic education (spoken English classes).
2. Organising games and competitions.
3. Assistance to schools in organising coaching classes.
4. Family visits.
5. Tuition classes for various subjects.
6. Moral Lessons
7. An yearly Youth Meet for the boys and girls of all the oratories.
The Salesian novitiate at Zubza, Nagaland came into existence in 2003. Hence Sunday oratory activity is still in its infancy. However, Sunday oratories are organised by the novitiate community for the benefit of the novices in order to give them an experience of the youth ministry, which is an important dimension of the Salesian life. The novices have four Sunday oratories, including an orphanage. The villagers are happy to have the novices with them.
1. Singing class for the youngsters.
2. Spoken English classes for youth.
3. Games and competitions for the children.
4. Family visits.
3.0 Salesian College, Dimapur
Right from the beginning of the college in 1982, the College has considered Sunday oratories both as an integral part of the formation imparted to the young Salesians as well as a way of being at the service of the local Church and the people. In the early days of Salesian College, many villages in the neighbourhood (mostly Baptist) were quite hostile to the presence of the Catholics in their midst, because they feared a Romanisation of their people. Hence, harassment, intimidation and even physical assault of the students of Salesian College were not uncommon. However, over the years the situation has improved for the better. In fact, as a result of the Sunday oratory activities, tangible changes are seen in the lives of the people.
Lately, Salesian College oratories have been given a re-orientation by Fr. Jose Kuruvachira by initiating the young Salesians to work for the illiterate youth and to conduct awareness programmes. In many centres the brothers organise literacy and education campaign, and awareness programmes on a variety of topics, especially through the medium of street theatre and mini seminars. In most of the villages there are regular tuition classes and the volunteers organised by the brothers of the respective centres look after them. Over 400 children, youth and adults are helped through the literacy and education programme, and in this apostolate some 35 volunteers, assist the college on a minimum remuneration. Added to that, the College has introduced spoken English classes for the adults in several villages. In some villages supervised evening study is also introduced, which aims to reduce the number of school dropouts.
in the oratories In the oratories, a variety of activities are being carried out for the benefit of the youth, such as:
1. Catechism class.
2. Value-education and awareness programmes.
3. Adult literacy.
4. Tuition for school going children.
5. Class for school dropouts.
6. Spoken English class for adults
7. Input programmes for the volunteers of literacy and education.
8. Games and competitions of various kinds.
9. Newspaper apostolate
10. Identify and help school dropouts (both boys and girls) to undergo non-formal training.
11. Computer literacy for rural youth
12. Video films and slide programmes on select themes. 13. Organisation of Sunday Mass, rosary services, street plays on social themes, etc.
14. Annual Youth Meet.
Many of these programmes are also open to the adults of the villages, irrespective of age, gender and religion.
C. YOUTH CENTRES
In January 1992, the Salesian Province of Dimapur formally set up its Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) team with three members: Fr. Tony Pellissery, Fr.V.A. Thomas and Fr. K.D. Tom. Fr. Tony was to fulfil the duties of the warden at Ravalico Hostel, Imphal, Fr. V.A. Thomas was the assistant headmaster at Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh and Fr. K.D. Tom was at Don Bosco, Kohima. The team faced many uncertainties as regards to the nature of the youth work, finance and modus operandi and there were no clear directives In the meantime a number of activities were started. These included camps for high school students and teachers, retreats, skills-building sessions for the youth, and seminars for those in formation.
One of the first proposals of the DBYS team to the provincial and his council was to work towards the establishment of full-fledged youth centres at Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Imphal and Kohima. Fr. K.D.Tom was asked to study the possibility of setting up a youth centre at Don Bosco School, Kohima. From 1992-94, though many activities were carried out by the DBYS in Nagaland, nothing concrete was done for the establishment of the youth centre.
1.0 Don Bosco Youth Centre, Kohima
On 15 May 1995 the Hon. Minister of School Education Mr. Nillo Rengma inaugurated the youth centre at Kohima with a colourful function in the Don Bosco School auditorium. Bishop Abraham Alangimattathil blessed the reading room.
Ever since its inauguration, many Salesians and non-Salesians were roped into the youth work that was organised by the youth centre at Kohima. Hundreds of young people attended the various programmes that were organised here. Some of the programmes, which need special mention, are:
1. Intensive coaching for private candidates
2. Coaching for competitive exams (IAS prelims, etc)
3. Seminars on self employment & entrepreneurship
4. Bible camps
6. Runways (one month long training programme for the young)
7. Celebration plus (training for teachers & leaders)
8. Leaders orientation programme
9. Basic computer education
10. Music classes
11. Leadership camps
12. Peace ventures
13. Group Leaders Orientation Workshop (GLOW)
14. STAR programmes
16. Life lines (Bible & life skills)
17. Youth camps
Most of these programmes are continued even now.
The Youth Centre is now made available for the following programmes as well:
1. Training programmes for the Church leaders (for other denominations as well)
2. Catechists training programmes
3. Training for catechism teachers
4. Training programmes for youth groups (Baptists)
5. Tribal youth programmes organised by their welfare agencies.
6. Post-graduate student fellowship.
7. HIV/AIDS awareness programmes under the State Govt.
2.0 Don Bosco Youth Centre, Khonsa
Don Bosco Youth Centre at Khonsa was inaugurated by Shri Prashant Goyal IAS, the then D.C. of Khonsa on 15 August 2000 in a rented building which was a hotel (Chum chum hotel). Fr. Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil was appointed the first Director.
The following activities are conducted at the centre:
1. Leadership programmes,
2. Coaching classes for Classes 9, 10, 11 & 12.
3. Computer Literacy programmes
4. Games facilities (Indoor games)
5. Courses on first aid and health care
6. Awareness programmes
7. Library and reading room facilities.
8. Literacy programme
9. Teachers training Programmes
3. 0 Don Bosco Youth Centre, Wokha
Fr. John Bosco Perianayagam began to organise coaching classes for the students who failed for the class X examinations, as their number was very high in and around Wokha town. Later on he began to give few other educational and career oriented assistance to the youngsters as the need of the time had guided him. Slowly the youth of the area expressed their desire to have an organised youth centre for them. As response to the interest shown by the youngsters, in the year 2003 the Wokha youth centre was inaugurated. Fr. C.P. Mathew was appointed as the first director of the youth centre.
Youth centre at Wokha organises various programmes for the youngsters of the region through out the year. Some of the programmes organised by the Centre are:
1. LEAP (Learn Effectively and Act Pro-actively, a month long training for youngsters)
2. Computer training for the students at various levels.
3. Training in life skills like, tailoring, knitting, etc.
4. Career guidance, which includes classes on journalism, medicine, army, etc.
5. Coaching classes for students, especially for the students who failed in class X.
6. Awareness programmes on HIV/AIDS.
4.0 Don Bosco Youth Centre, Dimapur
Don Bosco School, Dimapur has a beautiful ground attached to it. After the class hours many boys of the area reqularly make use of it for games. Seeing the number of the boys coming together in the evening Fr. N. Joe SDB began to organise something for the youth of the area from 1991, which resulted in the formation of Friends Club. Members of the Friends Club from Dimapur had constant interactions with the Friends Club of Kohima and the youth centre. As the need for a regular youth centre was felt, and as there was a growing demand from the Friends Club, Don Bosco School, Dimapur began a full-fledged youth centre in 1994. Ever since its birth, the vice-principals are the directors of the youth centre “Fr. K.M Francis, Fr. Patrick Warjiri, Fr. P.A. John and Fr. Sabu who is presently the director of the Centre.
Dimapur youth centre organises the following activities:
1. Coaching classes for competitive exams.
2. Computer training for the students.
3. Music classes and music practice for the students.
4. Organising various competitions.
5. Library and reading room.
6. Spoken English classes for adults.
7. Coaching classes for class X failed students.
8. Career guidance programmes.
5. 0 Don Bosco Youth Centre, Itanagar
n August 2007, the province has started a new youth centre at Itanagar with Fr. Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil as its first Director.
6.0 Karsang Takar (Mising apostolate)
Karsang Takar, which means Rising Star, aims to empower and set on stage tribal youth through a one year of intense drilling in principles, skills and practices, to become servants of the people and proactive leaders of the society. Karsang Takar, works under Institute of Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), that endeavours to create servant leaders from among the youth of the Mising community. It is a residential programme that hopes to revive and keep alive the concept of the Mising Murong Ghar (Youth Dormitory), where young people, at the threshold of their adult life, stayed together for brief period of time in order to get acquainted with and be trained in all aspects of Mising socio-cultural life. This institute seeks to develop leaders who are empowered and who will reach out for the holistic development of the whole tribe. It also takes special note of the particular situation in which Mising women find themselves. In addition, Karsang Takar hopes to build up a people’s organisation, increasing their responsibility and involvement in the society in which they live. The objective of the course will be to create agents for socio-economic, social, cultural, educational and developmental work in villages. Karsang Takar will generate young leaders who are committed to ethics and who will become working models for other young people.
6.1 Programmes and course content
Karsang Takar offers a one-year course to its trainees. The programme begins on 31 January each year. The course is prepared and designed by Fr.Thomas Kalapurackal (K.A) SDB and other experts so as to develop the trainees as Human beings, Mising and Servant Leaders. The course includes personal development, religious training.
Experts who conduct specific short-term programmes assist the trainees. There is one full time director who co-ordinates the training programme and activities. Besides, a team of experts evaluate and monitor the performance of the staff and the trainees at Karsang Takar periodically. DBYES, CHAI, NERYC, BRO and AIDA also assist the staff of Karsang Takar
Karsang Takar is designed to accommodate 20 tribal young men and women, between the ages of 16 and 25. Smart trainees are selected from a list of applicants that should have gone to school at least up to class VII. Those who are admitted participate in all the modules of the one-year course.
A continuous system of evaluation has been the reason for development of Karsang Takar. This evaluation takes into account the grasp of the subject matter rather than memory work. The emphasis is on good performance and developing of correct attitudes.
Every year all the Takar get together with Karsang Takar trainees for two weeks of re-orientation. These meetings are held in April and October and they help in networking and evaluation.
The province of Dimapur is engaged in a variety of works with youth. DBYES is the apex body that co-ordinates much of the youth ministry of the province. At the same time there are also works with young people that do not fall directly under the purview of DBYES. In some cases our work with youth is the fruit of the initiative and creativity of certain individual Salesians.