Over 40 youngsters from the Salesian houses of north Goa assembled in Don Bosco, Tuem for the first of its initiative of Youth Open Forum – YOU Talk Here! This is an initiative of the Don Bosco Youth Services to gather youth to voice their opinions of Youth Issues and than deliberate on what solutions they can creatively organise themselves with, to tackle the youth issues in the society.
After a moment of Eucharistic Prayer, led by Fr. Edwin Baracho, assisted by Fr. Richard Corriea, Fr. Francis and Fr. Ralin, the youth had a moment of interaction to get to know each other. The two quick games of ‘atoms’ and ‘death ball’ were enough to get them energized, acquainted and comfortable with each other.
The resources persons were individuals rooted in practical work and activism in youth related issues in the state. Mr. Soter D’Souza, who is presently member of the Diocesan Centre for Social Justice and Peace, and an avid social activist and writer, raised numerous issues related to youth. He questioned the youth on the tendencies of popularism, technology and social Media, on Mob Culture, Materialism, involvement in Politics, dysfunctional politics and challenged the youth to be agents of change and initiators of new leadership.
Ms. Donna Noronha, active member of COOJ, Centre of Mental Health raised doubts that she herself was grappling with out the mental health of youth today. She shared about the numerous rising cases of Youth who she deals with that are on the brink of suicide, due to disturbed relationships, that are on the facebook without a physical reality. She explained how a one time taboo, of mental issues are now real time problems that we need to seriously look at and tackle.
The open forum that ensued therein, the youth questioned and spoke openly about their concerns. The focus of this first of the series of ‘YOU Talk Here’ was to discuss and finally focus on 5 crucial issues, which the youth feel are important and of concern to them. Each of the youth then rated the issues that were raised and came to the crucial youth issues in Goa as follows (in order of precedence)
- Awareness of Laws
- Deep Insecurity
- Education System
- Cheap Publicity
- Technology/Social Media
The Youth day concluded with a common lunch and moments of interaction.
The next series of YOU Talk Here will discuss these issues further and focus on two crucial Youth Issues in the Province. The Final Session will have the youth taking a commitment and beginning initiatives and processes to resolve the youth issues to the best of their ability.
Fr. Jason Coelho sdb, Director of Don Bosco Youth Services from Benaulim, thanked to youth for their participation.