ESGD: Second Generation Educators’ Workshop

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BY European Second Generation Department: This year’s Second Generation Educators’ Workshop took place in Luzna, Slovakia on April 21-24, 2016. Our goal was to invite those who are taking responsibility for 2nd Gen education, either at HARP-age or above, to gather together to share and reflect, as well as receive education and support. We believe it also provided an opportunity to deepen our cooperation on the European level, as a network of brothers and sisters investing into 2nd Generation care and education.

Altogether, there were 47 participants, representing 20 nations including Israel, Russia and Turkey. This workshop was also part of the DONE Mission 1 programme, as part of their own education to become future educators in their communities. Indeed, this wide range of participants contributed significantly to the depth of discussions and learning throughout the weekend as many people expressed how valuable it was to share and listen to each other’s situations, perspectives and ideas.

The main topics and presentations were given by the ESGD team and David Hanna and they included: sharing the ESGD vision for our work with 2nd gen; internal guidance on purity education and matching and Blessing education; practical and spiritual leadership training; chances to share good practices and ideas and information about the upcoming European Summer Activities 2016. This year, Yebuny also led a morning leadership training programme, using her research and reading from her ongoing studies in Educational Leadership, which led participants through a range of activities and perspectives to encourage them to develop their personal leadership more. Alongside these, there was purposeful space in the schedule for team discussions and personal reflection and many participants took the opportunity to have more targeted conversations with experienced staff about specific community challenges they were facing.

There is incredible potential in our 2nd gen communities but also many challenges that face them in Europe and also beyond. A clear theme throughout the sessions was that our success will primarily depend on the education, leadership and care that is invested into our younger brothers and sisters. This involves us, as community leaders, being very clear on certain issues such as purity and matching, and taking the role of spiritual leadership very seriously. We therefore hope that taking time to reflect on what we can do more in these key areas, and supporting each other to do that, can continue regularly and beyond this workshop.

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Tibor, National Leader of Hungary: “It was good to reflect about what does it means to be a good leader and how to combine several aspects of it into one. Also to find my own identity and opinion in any kind of situation. I think each topic was relevant to prepare and strengthen the participants that they can be responsible for their life and take care of others.”

A 2nd Gen participant from Belgium: “Thank you to everyone who helped make this workshop possible. For me it was very useful, especially coming from a small community where not much is happening when it comes to second gen education. It helped me gain confidence that I can improve the culture, that I can be a positive influencer. It was very useful as well to see how other people deal with certain issues, and to exchange ideas how to deal with education. This workshop gave me some concrete ideas how to improve education in our community, so now it just comes down to trying out those ideas.

I really liked the lecture about relationships. It made me realize how important relationships actually are. We can do really cool workshops and everything, but if we are not able to create loving relationships, we are kind of missing the point. When you are able to create a relationship of trust with little children, they will be free to ask whatever to you and you will be able to become a positive role model for them.

It was important for me to realize the value of being clear with yourself and understanding yourself, in order to be a good influencer for other people. It’s important to have very strong roots, knowing clearly what values you believe in, and not swaying when challenges come. Often the most loving thing you can give to people is your clarity. When we ourselves are clear in what we do and why we do it, the impact will be bigger.”

A 2nd Gen participant from Finland: “The weekend was a really valuable chance to both go through valuable lectures and spend time with brothers and sisters facing the exact same challenges as I do. We were given many useful practical tips and guidance on how to generally approach certain topics and situations that appear in 2nd gen education. It also was relieving to hear some unclear matters set straight.

One of the most precious things for me this weekend was being reminded why I am working so hard for the sake of my 2nd gen brothers and sisters. I was reminded of the unlimited potential for love and beauty that each blessed child holds within them and how precious each son and daughter is for God and True Parents.

Returning to my nation I am determined to support my brothers and sisters to grow into people who hold both great love and compassion as well as uncompromised clarity about right and wrong along with the determination to further advance goodness in this world. I pray that our Heavenly Parent will be able to reveal Himself to us 2nd gen, so that we may really inherit and continue the work that our parents started.”