On Saturday 25th of April we set out to Lewsey, west of Luton with three goals in mind; faith, politics, and fun. In a community where the largest age group of its population lies between 13 and 21, we felt it is vital for these three aspects to be encouraged in the development of our young people as they face wider society.
Using The Feast’s Guidelines for Dialogue, we began our discussion by sharing the things we like in our different faiths. Our favourites varied from food, community, culture, places of worship, and the pleasure of going to fellowship with others that share the same faith. Some of the young people also shared about the difficulties they face in school as they are labelled and stereotyped negatively by others and all of our participants condemned this kind of behavior.
It was a great time of laughter and cheer as we played some fun games to lighten up the atmosphere. The game that was most enjoyed was the Island game. We split the group into two and the young people then named their group after their favorite colours; green and blue. The game required the leader in front to keep the team together as they marched to the check point by stepping only on the sheets of paper given to them. The winner of this game was not only the first team to reach the check point without breaking the rules but also the team that could build the highest tower out of sheets of paper. This game was full of buzz and energy and got both the teams competing in high spirits.
With the elections just around the corner, we have been hearing a lot about the different political parties’ manifestos. The young people also have a view that needs to be heard. So we encouraged them to put their heads together in groups, to brainstorm and debate ideas about what they would like to see in our town when the next government is in place. They then jotted down their points and drafted a letter to some of our politicians which will be sent to them in the hope of receiving a response.
Overall, it was a fun day for the young people, the volunteers, and me. Everyone that participated was eager to do it again, which is exactly what we had hoped for. Without a doubt, I feel we have positively imparted something in the lives of the young people who attended.