Shillong: A group of college students from northeast India spent their puja vacation learning leadership skills based on Biblical principles and Leadership Style of Jesus at Siloam wellness centre from 4th to 9th October 2019.
Some 110 students from 18 Colleges/Universities in northeast India including students from Salesian College Siliguri and Sonada, North Bengal participated.
Students from Manipur and Nagaland colleges could not participate at the popular annual event due to severe road conditions caused by landslides.
Eighth in a series, the program christened Galilee Trail 2019 is a 6-day intensive group program in Christian leadership for college students that seek to integrate social, cultural, spiritual and emotional dimensions of a person with the values and attitudes of the Person of Christ.
“Preparing student leaders to face life and its overall challenges effectively and confidently needs to go beyond academic qualifications and move towards harnessing at the human potential within them,” says founder director of the centre Salesian Father Dr George Palamattam.
A psychology practitioner Dr Palamattam says, “Lack of realistic and holistic approach could lead a lot of well talented youngsters to fall victims to depression, disorientation, isolation and consequent loss of self and self-identity.”
The resource persons included, Bp. Jose Mukala, Initiatives for Change executive, Mr Robert Solo from Kohima, Don Bosco Institute of Management Director Fr Johny Parinkimalil, Principal of St Anthony’s College Dr. Albert Longley Dkhar; Salesian Provincial of Shillong Fr Paul Olphindro Lyngkot; Registrar of Don Bosco University Guwahati Dr Biju Michael; Fr. V.C. Joseph from Malbassy West Sikkim, Salesian College Sonada Campus Minister Fr C.M. Paul, and several Jesus Youth leaders from Shillong ,like Edward, Daphira, Nerissa, Eddy and Rodrick.
Besides a session on sharing of vocation stories by priests, religious and sisters from Shillong, the group had an interactive session with committed catholic couples, young and old .
The program focused on sessions for Self Discovery, Call to Discipleship, Jesus Style Leadership, Discipleship in Higher Education, Understanding the Bible, Life Changing stories and testimonies from northeast leaders, with time for personal reflection and course correction.
One of the high points of the program was the day spent with and for the speech and hearing impaired children of Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre Umiam, Meghalaya.
“Learning to communicate with them in sign language and participating in the Sunday morning worship and later spending a few hours in the afternoon enjoying the chance games and watching the happiness on children’s faces made me realise how blessed I am, for being normal,” said Tarim Yani from Don Bosco College Itanagar.
Each participant had a speech / hearing impaired child to take care of during the day.
Established in 2006, the centre focuses on psychological, spiritual and developmental issues of students, youths, couples, families as well as professionals involved in various leadership roles towards renewal and reorientation.
The centre which caters to the outreach programmes of St. Anthony's College Shillong as well as students and teachers of all NE educational institutions, envisages intervention in educational testing and evaluation, aptitude tests, promotion of self-confidence and self-esteem, personal and interpersonal communication skills, education to peace and cultural integration.
The Transformational Leadership Resource Centre at Umiam, Meghalaya is situated on an idyllic hillside on the shores of the Umiam (Barapani) lake near Shillong. The facility is set on a 14-acre pine forest, with excellent top of the line accommodations (single, double, group) for 100 persons.