Youth are the most important and dynamic segment in any country. Each year, International Youth Day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems faced by the world’s youth. To commemorate this day, SOS Children’s Village Bangalore welcomed P.N. Prakash, Olympian and Arjuna Awardee, who competed at the 10-metre air pistol and 50-metre pistol events to become the only Indian to win a medal in the 2013 ISSF World Cup where he won Bronze in 10-metre air pistol event in Changwon, South Korea. In the same event, he won the Silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The pistol shooter, who was the chief guest, spent two hours interacting with the children and spoke about the importance of digital skilling, values, and strengthening family ties. He said that the present pandemic has thrown up many challenges especially for the young people but the aim is rise above it and emerge victorious.
Addressing the children Prakash said: “There is a saying: Sport makes and grooms one’s personality. One must experience it. Both body and mind fitness are important to achieve success. Every day physical fitness workout and yoga are a must. I believe in the mantra that WIN IN MIND and WIN IN LIFE. What I came to know about SOS Children’s Villages of India is something I was not aware of till date. The idea of living as a family and SOS CVI supporting the cause limitlessly is a great gesture and a rarity today. I am sure many have benefited from the values learnt here. The youth today have to be groomed in all aspects of life so that they become the best in their chosen path. The SOS CVI is providing that necessary required skill-training and has accomplished it successfully. I wish the entire SOS team all the very best in all the future projects and endeavours.”
Speaking at the occasion, Sumanta Kar, Secretary General, SOS Children’s Villages, said: “We at SOS CVI ensure that we support our children with relevant employable skills. The aim is to not just to find them jobs but getting the right job to be self-reliant and responsible citizens. We assess the aptitude of each child and support their education and skill development accordingly. We enroll Classes VIII and X students in multiple programs to identify their interests and existing skills. After extensive counselling sessions, we support them to choose the courses that are best suited from them. The Positive Youth Development Curriculum and Resilience Building assist the young people in developing emotional, social, physical and cognitive skills. The focus is on experiential learning and build aspirations among them. This enables the youth to grow holistically.”
At SOS Children Villages of India , enough exposure is given to digital skills to about 7,000 students who are studying in schools, and over 6,500 children who are being raised in 32 children’s SOS villages across India under the ‘Family Like Care’ model. From the skilling perspective, the five basic parameters: 1) ensuring that every child completes at least higher secondary education, 2) he or she is good at English communication, 3) has basic IT skills, 4) is good at social skills, and 5) has acquired a vocational and employable skill, are considered to help children for a better future.
Another key aspect is imparting values. Usually, the discussions on skill development revolve only around employability. Value education does not figure in the equation. But more often than not, it is one’s values that help the person enjoy long-term success in career and personal and social life. In this context, the scope of skill development projects, whenever possible, should ensure that the youth imbibe values of discipline, and inculcate the attitude of continuous learning. In all the structured positive youth development programmes, the focus is on the 4Cs: Collaboration, creativity, compassion and confidence.
The SOS CVI skill development initiatives benefit over 2,000 youth across India every year. The aim is to transform lives and developing children into self-reliant and contributing members of society. The focus is to impart the youth with employability skills, as well as social skills and values of discipline, and continuous learning, which are essential for children to grow in their career and to be happy and successful in life.