On May 12, 2016, CARP Nigeria kicked off a weekly program, ‘CARP Thursday’at the CARP centre in Abuja where 10 CARP members attended the launching.
What is ‘CARP Thursday’? It is a series of character education sessions offered every Thursday. It was initiated as a meeting day for all CARP members to come together, get to know each other better and learn about character development. The curriculum will cover topics such as pure love, honesty, family values, religious and cultural tolerance and leadership. There will be interactive activities and sharing sessions. One such activity is journal keeping where participants track their progress in character development since having taken these classes.
For this very first ‘CARP Thursday’, we felt it would be good to begin by creating friendly bonds among our members through some fun activity.
The meeting began with each member introducing themselves and then the Education Director, Mr. Bok Jin Lee, gave a brief update on our plans for future activities.
Then the fun part began with a food game called “The Best Sandwich” where the participants were divided into 3 groups and each group was provided with ingredients to make tuna sandwiches. They were given just 15 minutes to prepare sandwiches for all the members in their group!
While the groups were busy making sandwiches, a surprise birthday cake was brought in to celebrate the birthdays of 3 of our members; Samuel, Veronica and Grace. We all sang the birthday song for them in English, Korean, Yoruba (a native Nigerian language) and French! The room was filled with a lot of excitement and happiness.
After the food preparation, we all tasted each other’s sandwiches and shared cake and fruit juice. The meeting ended with everybody taking lots of pictures and a final group photo. I felt that this program really helped to create bonds between the members. It was educative in that participants got to know more about how CARP aims to build a culture of heart and its vision of extending that culture to the entire nation. The members were thrilled and felt a lot of love from CARP. Everyone is looking forward to the next ‘CARP Thursday’ meeting.
Here are a few thoughts and reflections from the participants:
“This evening was a great, tremendous program. I call this (CARP) a big family of togetherness, family of great leaders. We look forward to other activities.” (Trinity, Final year student, Banking and Finance major)
“Lovely today… Thanks to every lovely person that was present. It was a cool day for me.” (Funmi, Freshman, Economics major)
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who made this event a successful one. Without you all, we wouldn’t have such wonderful memories and stories to tell… it feels good to be part of the big and united family and I pray such love and unity continues to abide amongst us.” (Daniel, 2nd year student, Banking and Finance major)
One of the local CARP chapters in Korça city, located in the south-eastern region of Albania, organized a service project called “You Have Great Value”. As is the case with many places all over the world, this city is home to many poor families who cannot afford food to feed themselves and who live in poor housing conditions.
As members of CARP Korça, they wanted to do something to help. They broke up into 3 groups and an engaged discussion ensued on what could be done to help these people. Finally, they came to the conclusion that a service project would be a great way to contribute to these poorer communities. They had done similar service projects in the past and through them, they’ve been able to support 6 families in total.
The main purpose of the service project was 1) To create awareness in young people about the sad reality in which many people have to live and to educate them to live for the sake of others. 2) To help and support poor people.
Before going out, there was a brief meeting with a presentation about people in history who invested in others and changed the world through their acts of service. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison and Rev. Sun Myung Moon were a few of the people mentioned who did great work and invested in people. This was followed by a video presentation of the speech given by Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator.” Some memorable quotes from his speech are, “I should like to help everyone. You are not machines. You have the love of humanity in you. You, the people have the power. The power to create happiness.” Through showing the participants this inspirational video, they were encouraged to do great things in life that will benefit the people of the world.
Each team then decided to collect money, clothes and food to support the poor families.
For many of the participants, it was their first time going out to fundraise. “We were a bit worried because we know that it is not easy, but our worry was all for nothing. The participants were very much inspired and there was a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction on the faces of everyone. We once again experienced the wonder and power of investing in others,” explained one of the organizers.
Visiting Poor Families
“Each team visited one poor family and conveyed to them all the things we had gathered for them. Many of the families invited us into their humble homes and we sat together, listening to their situation and story. We were very touched by their stories. Many of their situations were situations that we could not have imagined. These experiences made us appreciate life on a deeper level and left us with many thoughts.”
Here are a few testimonies of participants on their experience doing the service projects:
“I know there are many poor people in the world. But it was very different knowing about it and actually seeing it with my own eyes. I was very shocked. It made me look back at my own life and reflect a lot. In one part of the world, people have an abundance of food, so much so that much of it is even thrown away and wasted. However,on the other side of the world, people are suffering because of starvation. Why is it so difficult for people who are wealthy to share with people who are not? I am very grateful that W-CARP gave me this great experience.”
“Through this activity, I understood that there are still many people who need help.”
After doing this project together, we became closer and deepened our relationship with each other. We understood that if we put into practice the words of our founder and True Father, “Live for the sake of others”, we can do a lot of good for others, but at the same time, we can also get great energy and happiness.
Check out these two videos about the service project:
35 young people from every part of Italy joined the CARP workshop held in Colle Mattia (Rome) from the 22nd to the 25th of April. It was a great chance for us to share about what we’ve accomplished so far as a youth association. This was a good place to make a new start and determine to make a positive impact in society.
The motto of the workshop “Life of Values and Pure Relationships for a Better Society” was the underlying theme of each activity: lectures, discussions, service projects and leisure activities. These activities created a warm spirit and good space for developing stronger bonds between the participants.
The lectures, given mainly by young life coaches, covered different topics such as the importance of character education and family values, the fundamental essence of human life and leadership guidance. After each lecture, we had engaging discussions on how we can apply the content to our personal lives.
Participants took part in two service projects. One group cleaned up the area around the Colle Mattia train station by picking up all the garbage lying around.
The other group helped staff an event organised by the local community of Sant’Egidio to spread love and joy to children through games, cooking, dancing and other fun activities.
Through these service projects, participants got a chance to live for the sake of others and invest their love and energy for the greater good of the society. They were small projects but they had a significant impact on the local communities.
Afterwards, we visited a special art museum called “Living Together” which was created by disabled artists who kept investing in their passion and talents despite their disabilities. We were inspired to see the beautiful artwork created by these artists.
The next day’s theme was “Pure Relationships” so we had lectures on purity and relationships followed by discussions about various interesting topics; “How to prepare yourself before committing to a relationship”, “the differences in the expression of love between man and woman”, “how to grow together as a couple”, “what to consider when starting a family” and “how to pass on our values and traditions to our kids”. We also took part in leisure activities such as sports, dance, board games and karaoke. The day ended with an evening program dedicated to reflection and meditation.
On the last day, it was time to try to come up with an answer to the question, “How we can build a better society and where do we start?” To give us some inspiration, we had lectures by Elena Chirulli and Fiorella Capone on topics such as “Discovering Ourselves”, “Our Identity” and “Strengths and Abilities.” Emphasis was placed on the importance of having clear goals in life that are not just focused on the individual self but on the wider society.
At the end of the session each participant had time to reflect and write a personal “life mission statement.”
Participants found this exercise to be very useful and many were proud to share it with others. Some discovered that they do have a “personal mission” deep down inside and having the chance to write it down made it more concrete and clear. Now they can start to create an action plan with steps in order to achieve it.
They then brainstormed ideas about future CARP events and activities in each community as well as on a national level. Some of the outcomes of these sessions were the establishment of three committees: the media committee (you tube channel coming soon!), the writers’ committee and CARP Italy Facebook Page Administrators’ committee.
The participants showed a strong desire to cooperate, take initiative and take responsibility.
Here are some reflections from the participants:
“At the end of this workshop I feel more inspired and I want to do the best that I can back in my community and with the other young people. I expect that all of us are going to be more active and initiate new activities/events.”
“What I gained from this workshop is a strong determination. I have a strong desire to be more active.”
“I feel more inspired because I understand now who we are and what we have to offer. I believe that in the future we will have a strong impact in society and we will attract many more people.”
We all felt that this workshop was a great success in motivating and energizing the Italian youth movement and we now look forward to working together with clarity, passion and determination!
At CARP, we strive to become the best storytellers! Transform boring reports into captivating stories! Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we have prepared some questions here that can serve as a guide. After answering these questions, you will have all the ingredients needed to make an interesting story and share it with the world! And like one wise writer once told me, “Never be afraid to have a really bad first draft!” So let’s get started!
Writing and sharing stories is one way to share best practices and inspire other CARP chapters around the world 🙂
Guide Questions to Writing Good Stories
What: Event Name, Theme, Date, location, number and type of participants
Why: What was the main purpose and desired outcomes for this event?
Challenge: What was the main challenge/difficulty you encountered while preparing for this event or during this event?
Victory: How did you overcome the challenge?
Celebration: What was the highlight of the event activity /meeting? (What was the best thing that happened?)
Testimony: What was the reaction of the participants attending the event activity meeting? (Include testimonies, reflections, direct quotes from the participants)
Impact: What was accomplished through this event/activity/meeting?
*** Please include a couple pictures that you think best showcases your event/activity/meeting 🙂
Here are some effective shots you may want to consider:
Group shot (with a banner if possible)
Action shot: participants engaged in a particular connected to the event
VIPs: this could be your guests, sponsors, or the people who are directly benefiting from your event
CARP students studying Agricultural and Rural Innovation at the Makerere University gathered to kick-off the “Micro-Gardening Project” at the Uganda Peace Embassy on March 26, 2016 under the guidance of the Makerere University CARP Chapter Leader, Mr. Alinaitwe Cleofash.
This project was organized after the seminar with the theme, “Understanding leadership towards environmental changes in building world peace” that was held 2 weeks prior. After the discussion, participants came to the conclusion that one way that they could make a positive impact on the environment was to start up sustainable projects such as micro-gardening to address climate change and food security.
Ten students participated in the “Micro-Gardening Project”, eight of whom decided to participate in CARP activities after hearing about its activities.
Vice President of CARP Uganda, Mr. Kyalo Ivan gave a short introduction explaining the vision, mission and strategy for this project. Then the students jumped right into the first stage of the project: setting the bed of tomatoes.
Students were very inspired by this project and many officially signed up to become regular members of CARP. One participant shared, “It was a great and amazing experience because it opened up a practical world for my life.” The participants left feeling accomplished and agreed to return in 3 weeks for the next stage: setting up the stakes and transplanting the seedlings.