Mist befalls the lowest contours, bellowing to the rays.
A beautiful account based on a true story of a farmer in Japan living in harmony with nature,and going against the modern madness of the world…… and connecting to natures basic truths…
One Day the Shadow Passed. Author Johathan Reggio..
Group Friend :- Esther Wilks Assistant Programme manager of The Challenge Network,
A SHORT STORY OF LIFE.
Why do I work with NCS with The Challenge? Why do I think it’s important to get young people mixing and involved in their communities?
Let me tell you a short story, or in fact re-tell a story that I was told during my first week with The Challenge by one of our founders, Jon Yates.
Jon was living in East London and had a friend Billy. One weekend Jon went to a London park and later asked Billy if he had ever visited this particular park. Billy’s response? not for the likes of me. His response wasn”t I dont like parks, or I dont know how to get there, but rather, there not for the likes of me. How is it that a public park can be for the likes of Jon, but not for the likes of Billy? Our society has become full of
invisible dividing lines.
Have a think about this: did you grow up in a house or a flat?
The chances are the majority of your friends will have the same answer as
What about, did you go to university?
Again, I imagine that most of your friends have the same response as you. We tend to be friends with people who are the same as us; that means we tend not to be friends with people who are different to us. There are those invisible diving lines again.
That is one of the main reasons I work for NCS with The Challenge. We bring together 60 young people at a time to take part in the National Citizen Service. These 60 sixteen year olds wont have met each other before, will be from different backgrounds, different faiths, different education, different abilities, and together they become a team. They each then visit community groups in their local area that may be different to them and spend time getting to know them.
Just one way in which we can help to break down those invisible diving lines in our community which in turn, I believe, will lead to a stronger society.
ESTHER WILKS OF THE CHALLENGE NETWORK. ________________________________________________________________
Group friend Ann Harris tells us about her volunteering work.
Imagine being taken away from mum because she has problems and cannot cope, then sent to a childrens home and then onto different foster homes. All this at the age of 7 and up. What a way to start life. The only thing born into you at this age is to fight for all you want. If you cannot have what the other kids have, steal it. You don’t want to be different. Imagine the hurt and the gradual build up of a very hard shell, blocking everybody out. This continues all the way through your life which leads us to yet another adult with a dysfunctional life. Underneath all this is a person. Who knows in different circumstances what this child/adult may have become. How do you break a circle and habits which you have known for the biggest part of your life.
This is where my volunteering comes in. Which incidentally, I wish I had undertaken this type of work years ago , as it is so rewarding to see a life change around and to think that I may have had a small part in this. The agency I work for is funded by charitable donations and volunteers but plays such an important part in trying to re habilitate and help ex offenders.
When a person is released from prison my job is to work along side him/her and build up a trust and by talking and encouraging them to try and break that circle of crime. For most of the time during their lives, they have never had any peace or trust. It can happen that a person can be released from prison with only the clothes he stands up in, nowhere to go, family cut them off and a small amount of money in his pocket. Until you get an address you cannot claim any benefits. The easiest thing is to go back to a life of crime.
I admire the work done by the Lower Burgh Meadow group in maintaining, preserving and healing scarred landscapes to their former glory and I feel that this is reflected in their decision to help ex offenders by welcoming them into their group and in some way bringing a form of healing in scarred lives. Anne