Good morning on this beautiful Spring day from Shekinah. My name is Yvonne Joye and in this season of new beginnings it is apt that I too am beginning something new; namely this weekly “Shekinah Blog” and overall promotion of what Shekinah does.
So, what exactly does Shekinah do?
Shekinah is a training programme for adults, teachers, parents, youth workers or anyone who wishes to work with young people; it is for individuals who wish to facilitate youth retreats, wellness days, days of affirmation and overall youth ministry. It is for those of us who wish to learn and achieve new levels of awareness of young people so as to engage with them in a meaningful and relevant way.
We can talk about youth in the generic but our youth is not generic; it is made up of individuals, each with their unique talents, ambitions, worries and fears. There is no one formula that reaches everyone and the courses at Shekinah recognise this. Shekinah looks to art, drama, role-play, conversation, dialogue, ice-breakers and fun as a means of communicating. This communication serves not just young people’s understanding of others but most importantly their understanding of themselves. Those who come to Shekinah leave Shekinah with a whole new skill-set; they can now enter a room of young people with a new understanding of young people, an ability to effectively communicate with young people and an enriched comprehension of what it is to be a young person today. Real communication underscores every meaningful relationship whether that relationship be with self or others; Shekinah identifies this and wholly works with those who train to achieve this.
So who am I in all of this?
Well, I am a graduate of Shekinah, completing my certificate in youth facilitation and spirituality in 2017. Indeed, I am hoping to complete my diploma next year. However, with a degree in Sociology, I have worked as a facilitator for over 20 years in difference guises from pre-marriage courses to support groups to youth retreats.
In my work with young people, Shekinah has equipped me with a tool-box of skills, where I can now go out and create a space that affords “safe vulnerability” for young people, where students are able to find their voice and voice it, where everyone is listened to, respected, encouraged and validated and where every young individual discovers an ear for listening, a forum for understanding and a sanctuary for questioning.
So please, begin with me on this beautiful Spring day, the discovery of Shekinah. Through this weekly blog, I hope to provoke thoughts, reflections and new beginnings. We talk much about the challenges of our young people, the hardships of our young people and the mental health of our young people. Well why not tackle all that? Why not help them with all that? We worry much about our young in this ever-evolving world with ever-evolving technologies, but with the right tools, the right communication and the right education in Shekinah – we can stop worrying and start helping.