Dear Friends of SELL Ghana, we in the SELL Resource Team wish you much happiness and many blessings for Christmas and the New Year as we count our own blessings of this year. At our recent evaluation meeting there was a great sense of satisfaction with the 27 workshops completed this year within the three Northern regions of Ghana, as well as the completion of our revised manual, which has just gone to the printer. We rejoice in the support of friends and benefactors which has enabled us to reach a total of 1252 young adults (563 females and 689 males) in the course of the year. We are proud of our country in the example it has given of democracy in action in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance and we look forward to working with many more young people as they share vision and work towards a great future.
Our integrated human and spiritual development programme aimed at young adults came into the Upper East Region of Ghana in October, 2015 and we have been working hand in hand with the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocesan Youth Office, the Priests and Religious of the Diocese, as well as the various stake holders involved in the development of young adults in the region and beyond. On 19th February, 2016, the team had our first workshop activity on the PEACE BUILDING unit of the SELL programme with 22 young adults of Bunkpurugu community in Nakpanduri. Since then, we have been able to hold workshops in 17 out of the 18 parishes of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese. We have also worked with some young adults within and beyond the Ecclesiastical Province of Tamale.
We have also served as a resource for various groups and societies such as the Justice and Peace committees of the diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, teachers in some schools within our working area, Knights and Ladies of St. John’s International in the capital of the Upper West region, Wa diocese.
As part of our effort to reach the many young people who need our support, we organized a training on the ‘Life Choice Day’, an auxiliary unit of SELL Programme designed for young people in the final year of their secondary school cycle of education. Those who took the training were teachers and education workers and some Presentation Brothers. The training was aimed at equipping the participants with skills to deliver the programme in schools.
We also had a refresher training in August for the SELL family in Kumasi and we supported them to organize a peace rally towards creating awareness and campaigning for the need of peace before, during and after this year’s presidential and parliamentary election.
Over the year we worked on a new version of our basic manual to suit the young adults we are working with and also to keep up with the calls of the spirit in our world today, especially with regard to care for the earth and ecumenism.
In October, 2016 we had a team building and strategic planning meeting, facilitated by Rev. Sr. Olivia (DC) helping us to work better as a team and also to plan for the future. For the planning session we were joined by Bro Fidelis FPM, the youth chaplain of Navrongo-Bolgatanga diocese.
The Resource team invited all the youth chaplains of Navrongo-Bolgatanga diocese to the SELL Resource room for a meeting to look at how the programme can support their work and also support the many young adults in their parishes and the decision to train volunteers to support the Resource team was made at that meeting. The chaplains agreed to be part of the training and also to support the teams that will be established at their parish levels after the training.
The major part of our 2017 programme will be a series of trainings for young adults on the SELL Programme to equip them with skills which will help them to deliver the programme to other young people. Our aim is to have groups of volunteers to reach out to the many young adults who need formative support in their lives.
The young adults who will be trained as volunteers are from groups we met at the parish level. They were selected based on their capability and their interest in reaching other young adults with the programme and in consultation with their youth Chaplains. These volunteers, after their selection were interviewed and given a commitment form to sign as their pledge of support to other young adults within and around their parishes with the SELL Programme.
After two trainings, mentors will be selected from the local teams to be trained to assist and support their colleagues at their local level in delivering the programme and this will begin in 2018. These mentors will identify new people to be trained as volunteers for the sustainability of the programme at the local level. All these processes will be done in consultation with the youth chaplains in the diocese.
Another recent development is the invitation from the youth chaplain of the Tamale Archdiocese, which is the seat of the ecclesiastical province of Northern Ghana, to train volunteers in the SELL programme for the Archdiocese of Tamale. This invitation stems from a SELL workshop that was organized for young adults who were selected by the Archdiocesan youth council of Tamale to experience the programme and evaluate its impact.
The Team received the invitation in September, 2016 and agreed upon a meeting with the Tamale Archdiocesan youth chaplain to do the training in January, 2017. Two volunteers from each parish and their youth chaplain will be trained for the programme. They will constitute the team at the local level and will be mentored by the Resource team at their workshops for quality animation of the programme until mentors are selected and trained to assist them.
We are most grateful to Most Rev. Bishop Alfred Agyenta, Bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, the Diocesan Youth Chaplain, the priests and Youth Chaplains of the Diocese, the Presentation Brothers, the Diocesan Youth Council and everyone helping with youth formation in our diocese, for their support and encouragement.
We look forward to continuing to work together for the formation and development of the young people in our Diocese and beyond.
Kind regards to all who have supported and encouraged us and wishing you peace and joy for Christmas and much success and happiness in the New Year.
Vincent Agyei (Team Leader), Hagar Bebuur, Frs. Leo Traynor (SPS) and Tommy Hayden (SPS).