September 20th, 2013

The little things

When I tell people I’m a youth worker they often say to me, “that must be really rewarding”. When I started doing youth work I thought this reward would come from seeing dramatic, overnight changes in young peoples’ lives. And although there are occassions when this is the case, I have learnt that more often than not, the reward lies in looking for and celebrating the little signs that represent ongoing growth and change. At Canaan Project we believe these little things are just as significant as the big things.

One of our young women arrived early to Girls Club this week, her head down and visibly sad. I took her aside and she told me all about the horrible day she’d had at school and the mean things that had been said to her. I told her how sorry I was, how lovely we think she is and how much the group appreciate her. She started to smile. The other girls arrived and we started the session. We were fortunate to have our friend, Fran Newman-Day, come and deliver a screen printing workshop for us which the girls were super excited about. After printing her t-shirt, the young woman I had been talking to beamed, telling us how much she loved the t-shirt and that it had made her day.

Nothing big or dramatic happened at Girls Club this week, and this young women may have faced similar issues at school the next day, but I think something significant happened for her in the little things.