Dr Chatrooghoon reinforced the above statements by recounting real life incidents which jolted many learners and judging from the feedback we received at the end of the workshop, they benefited immensely from this motivational address. “You are not here by chance, you are an ambassador of your school and you must take the powerful message of the Sunlit Path back to your schools”, thundered Dr Chatrooghoon. He encouraged them to bear the “trials and tribulations” of life courageously as it is an important part of their growth and development. They should also assist others in the school and in the community, concluded Dr Chatrooghoon.
In the welcome message, Mr P.D. Maharaj, Deputy-Principal, Cool Air Secondary stated, “Today may be a turning point in your life. If you put your mind to it, listen carefully to what the Divine Life Society presenters have in mind for us, you will leave this place a changed person.” In the presentation on the “Purpose of the programme” learners were informed that the Sunlit Path Programme is designed to shape their lives. Some of the points made were:
- It is OK to be different. Don’t follow your friends recklessly. Bad company will affect your life negatively.
- Excessive TV viewing dulls the mind.
Two learners from Greytown Secondary related the impact the 2016 Sunlit Path Programme had on their lives. After listening to their life-changing experiences, it is hoped that other learners will follow in their footsteps and adopt the path of goodness and virtue.It was pleasing to hear the enthusiastic responses from learners based on the reading of the play, “Sunlit Path will take you closer to God”. Clearly, they listened attentively and expressed their responses eloquently.
A detailed explanation was given on the value of the Sunlit Path Checklist and how to fill it in. In the responses below, learners alluded to this important aspect of the workshop. Sunlit Path organisers felt gratified by the responses they received from learners at the end of the workshop. Here are some of the responses:
1. This workshop is quite great because it teaches you about the basics of life and how to live it. I really enjoyed listening to all these lectures and stuff, because it makes you relax and think about what you want to do and how it will help you. But the most important thing I learnt is that prayer is something that will never let you down. Thanks to everyone.
2. After this workshop, I feel that I am willing to change the way I do things. I want to kick out all the bad habits and bring in the good.
3. When I go back home I will use the checklist that was given to me. And, I am going to shape my own destiny, not let others do it for me.
4. I feel much safe and happy when I am here in this workshop, because I can discuss my problems and I can get help.
5. I think that the facilitators should try and get learners to open up a bit more because some of the learners here have a low self-esteem.
6. I learnt that God is a need and no one can survive without God. God is the Provider.
7. Now I know that suicide is a selfish act and that my soul will not be at peace if I commit suicide.
8. The Diary and the Checklist will help us develop gratitude and other virtues and overcome bad qualities.
9. I feel more alive and free, free to encourage others how to believe in God, to become a better person. I have learnt how to make God my Guide.
10. I will follow the Sunlit Path and pray at home and repeat God’s Name daily.
In the summation, the efficacy of prayer and the importance of the Sunlit Path Checklist were once again reinforced. The need to organise such workshops at school level was emphasised. We are pleased to report that 18 new learners join the Sunlit Club and have pledged to try to stay away from drugs and other social ills. Our next Sunlit Path workshop will be held in Phoenix on Friday, 19 May 2017.
We express our gratitude to principals of schools for allowing learners to attend the workshop and to all who contributed towards the success of this event. Special thanks go to the management of the Greytown Community Centre for the free use of the hall and its facilities and for assisting in various ways to make the function a success. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Divine Life Society of S.A. devotees from Pietermaritzburg, for the pivotal role they played in this event. Finally, we are deeply grateful to the KZN Department of Education for granting permission to organise this event during school hours.