Usually we think that in the future, when the young had grown, they will be agents of change. But every day, more and more leaders and pastors are finding that in the present, youth have the
ability to run a “redemptive role” in the midst of moral, economic and political crisis in which we live, that we do not need to wait for them to grow to give them confidence, tools and resources so that they, from now, and by themselves, begin to care for their community and ensure the development of their families and their nation.
The previous paragraph summarizes some of the main ideas that were “unpacked” during the Regional Assembly of the Christian Reformed Church held in Valle de Angeles, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
“It was an Assembly that helped us see that it is possible to work with youth to achieve not only the improvement of the young as an individual, but helping the youth to see themselves as agents of change for their community”, summarizes Roberto Armas, coordinator of the Urban Transformation Strategy.
Roberto and a delegation of 5 Nicaraguans who are part of the network of Agents of Transformation, participated in this meeting which had an international exchange format. “The model of youth reaching methodology that was studied at the Assembly was the Impact Clubs strategy. “The team from Nicaragua was formed by leaders who are doing a very effective work with young people, even so, we learned a lot about Impact Clubs as a strategy to mobilize young people”, Roberto states.
In words of Roberto, the Nicaraguan team liked the fact that the Impact Clubs are places where young people of a same community interact, learn skills and reflect about spiritual values with the help of anecdotes and stories that generate teachable moments. “It is something similar to what we’re already doing through the youth Christian groups, but in the Impact Clubs they use the dialogue with striking stories for boys to facilitate dialogue, instead of just a short sermon from a biblical text,” says Roberto.
The Impact Clubs is a methodology originally developed in Romania, but for a few years has been implemented in several highly violent communities of the Honduran capital, achieving great results. Some of the main objectives pursued by the Impact Clubs are: character development, abilities development and social commitment development of the youth. Through the Impact Clubs, youth have the opportunity to develop small projects in benefit of their neighborhoods.
Besides enjoying the companionship on this trip, the best part was that the Nicaraguan leaders, right there in Honduras, designed an action plan that includes conducting an intensive training on this methodology with other community leaders in order to start with the first five Impact Clubs in Nicaragua before the end of this fiscal year. “The goal with these clubs is that young people become active agents of change for their community”, concluded Roberto Armas.