Community News

Change Begins Small: Children and Teenagers are Our Future

Apr 30, 2011 Editor

Author: Pooja and Lucky Sund, Citizen Journalists

     Many adults believe the life of a child is quite care-free, but fail to realize that children withstand an abundance of stress daily. Their struggles can be faced in social situations, at school or with friends, but it can also be caused by their environment at home. Children can’t easily express their feelings in words or actions; sometimes they are left feeling ignored.

     As children get older their day-to-day struggles become more difficult and if these issues are not dealt with they remain bottled up inside waiting to explode. What is more challenging is the transition from child to teenager; immediately they are forced to make tougher choices and are pressured to overcome hurdles that may alter their lives.

     “Youth today face a number of important choices at home, school, and socially as they navigate a rapidly changing world. With so many influences giving direction to young people, cultivating the qualities of inner strength and compassion will be essential for tomorrow’s leaders. Conquering this at a young age is essential. The Art of Living Foundation provides tools to nurture the growth of these qualities, so that our society will have powerful leaders and individuals dedicated to building a brighter future for themselves and the world. The courses empower children and teenagers to move from BEING influenced by their environment, to HAVING an influence on their environment. We work to ensure that tomorrow’s voices for peace and unity are stronger than those of violence and self-centeredness” says Reena Bindra, youth teacher of the AOLF.

     Bindra states that the Foundation offers various courses to help each individual cultivate their inner strengths and release stress and negative emotions. In Victoria there will be courses offered that focus primarily on young children and teenagers.

     The first course being offered is the YES! (Youth Empowerment Skills) Course, targeted for 14-17 year olds. Course coordinator Kalpna Rawat says that YES! is a holistic program that provides teens with a comprehensive set of tools to manage their emotions. YES! broadens young people’s vision of the world and present practical knowledge and skills they need to realize their highest potential. Independent research—www.aolresearch.org— has also shown that the processes learned in YES! help reduce anger, violence, and depression as well as improves focus and concentration.

     After completing the course a 16 year old graduate named Jane said, “there is something contributing to our level of stress every day and it seems impossible to relieve. The people who take this class are the lucky ones and the ones who will always be ahead of the game in school and in life in general.”

     Also, the ART Excel program (All round Training in Excellence) is offered to children between the ages of 8-13. Art Excel is an 18-20 hour program where kids learn the six golden keys to success through innovative games and interactive processes. A parent of a child who did the course was interviewed, Shivani Jain, said that the training gave her children valuable lessons on how to share with others, work and play in harmony, and develop a sense of belonging. Jain also said that her 12 y/o daughter and 10 y/o became self-expressive, comfortable, and natural with diverse groups of people in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

     Kalpna Mangat, a B.C. certified school teacher, assists in the children’s courses and states that, “students are taught effective and powerful breathing techniques which help eliminate fear, anxiety, depression and other negative emotions, I have noticed the change in my students who have gone through the program.”

 YES! (Youth Empowerment Skills) Course

Who: 14-17 year olds

When: May 5th-8th 2011, (Thursday/Friday from 5pm-8pm, Sat/Sun from 10am-4pm)

Where: University of Victoria, Clearihue Building and Room A127

How: Register online at www.artofliving.ca

Cost: Only $150 and can bring a friend for free!!

ART Excel Course

Who: 8-13 year olds

When: May 19th-22nd 2011 (Thursday/Friday from 5pm-8pm, Sat/Sun from 10am-4pm)

Where: University of Victoria, Clearihue Building and Room A127

How: Register online at www.artofliving.ca

Cost: Only $150 and can bring a friend for free!!

Angels Course

Who: 3-7 year olds

When: June 2nd-5th (Thursday/Friday from 5pm-7pm, Sat/Sun from 11am-2pm)

Where: University of Victoria, Clearihue Building and Room A127

How: Register online at www.artofliving.ca

Cost: Only $150 and can bring a friend for free!!

For more information please contact Art of Living Faculty member Pooja Sund at 250.884.9790, or Coordinator Kalpna Rawat at 250.483.5401