February 18th, 2011

The sky is the limit…

“Young peoples’ lives are lived principally in hope. They have high aspirations; for they have never yet been humiliated by the experience of life, but are unacquainted with the limiting force of circumstances…” – Aristotle – 4th century BC

Unfortunately we do not always find this to be the case with the young people we work with. They often do have limiting forces in relation to there circumstances, some of which they are aware of, some of which they are not. Our experience is that the young people we work with often have a distinct lack of aspiration for themselves, in terms of their employment, but also for their families, community or peers. This is an area that we specifically aim to target through our work as is expressed in our mission statement. We want to see young people who are defined and driven by the hope that Aristotle speaks of and not limited by the poverty and disadvantage that surrounds many of them. One of the ways we seek to do this is by giving young people as wide a range of opportunities as possible, to broaden their experiences of life and their awareness of the options available to them. To help them dream bigger.

With our new database system we are able to record the glimpses of aspiration that young people do express through the work that we do with them. This enables us to remember and remind young people of their aspirations and help them build on them.

One of our residential trips was a great example of a new experience building aspirations. Several of the girls had been really nervous of taking part in the activities but had overcome their fear and really enjoyed themselves. They said afterwards (and this is paraphrased) that they had learnt that they were more capable than they thought they were and that they should always try new things even if they are scared of them. This is amazing. The possibilities are endless with that kind of attitude. The sky is the limit!