July 2013: Building Dignity Youth Leadership Retreat

posted Jul 14, 2013, 12:33 PM by Henrik Mitsch   [ updated Jul 14, 2013, 12:36 PM ]
Last month, Building Dignity teamed up with the Global Studies Student Association from the University of Minnesota and People’s Congregational Church of Bayport, Minnesota to organize our first Youth Leadership Retreat for the participants of Voices of Youth. Our goals: to encourage healthy friendships, strengthen teamwork, and foster the values of service and leadership.

We are pleased to share the highlights with you!

The Team: Building Dignity is grateful for the help of the Global Studies Student Association (GSSA), who joined us in Lima for 3 weeks to organize the retreat. We also extend our thanks Thalía Giraldo, a student leader from Colby College whose work with these young leaders was supported by the Walker Grant. In total, a team of 11 dedicated volunteers helped organize this two-day retreat for 24 youth.
Teamwork Teamwork 2

The Retreat: On June 1, this intrepid group left Lima for a retreat center in the small town of Chosica. During the course of the weekend, group activities, discussions and quiet reflection guided participants through an exploration of friendship, teamwork, service and leadership:
  • Art activities encouraged each participant to identify the fundamental aspects of their unique personality.
  • Group challenges required the participation of each team member and put teamwork skills to work.
  • Role-play helped participants think critically about how they can improve their community.
  • Public acknowledgement of meaningful contributions nurtured the self-esteem of each young adult.

Group Discussion

The Outcomes: Since returning to Lima, momentum continues to run high. 20 to 25 young people join us twice a week for Voices of Youth meetings. Together, the group cultivates their leadership skills through community service projects:
  • Earlier this month, the group collaborated with adult community leaders to create a soccer field. Together, they leveled the ground and packed down sand. Their next goal: convince City Hall to pitch in with the cost of pavement.
  • Later this month, the group will conduct a day of service at a care center for senior citizens. They are busy preparing games, art projects, and activities to share.
Group Picture

The work of these young leaders has caught the attention of other communities. Starting in August, Building Dignity will collaborate with partner organization “Escuela Metropolitana” to organize Voices of Youth in the nearby community of Oasis.

This important step forward in our programming would not have been possible without the support of the People’s Congregational Church Blessing Fund, GSSA, and our volunteers and supporters. ¡Muchísimas Gracias!