September 21, 2019

‘Reaching Dreams’ Initiative Fosters Self-Esteem in Teenage Girls

Zhamilya Nurmagambetov, Euro-Asia Division, and Adventist Review

A pilot program for teenage girls entitled “Reaching Dreams” took place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, August 18-21, 2019. It was attended by 20 girls aged 13 to 17 from the capital city of this Central Asian nation and nearby towns.

Taking into account what organizers called “the peculiarities and subtleties of the teenage period,” program coordinators prepared special seminars with catchy titles such as “When the Mirror Becomes Our Friend,” “Reliable People,” “Proportions and Silhouette,” “The Magic Word ‘No,’” and “Color Types of Appearance,” among others.

Organizers said that the seminars were intended to support teenage girls in that sometimes difficult period of life. “The seminars helped them to get rid of complexes, learn how to become a true friend, uphold their principles, get style tips, and much more,” they said.

Daily spiritual lessons, prayer services, and pastoral counseling helped participants to strengthen their faith, get support, and find answers to their questions.

The active part of the meetings was filled with games, thematic quests, and even a pajama party. Participants also enjoyed physical activity classes under the guidance of a fitness trainer. According to organizers, girls could also choose to participate in cooking classes, in which they baked and decorated cookies. They even received tips on how to keep a personal diary.

At the end of the four-day program, teenagers said they were thankful to local and regional church leaders for what they described as “the excellent organization” of the meetings. They also thanked their mentors, who spent 24 hours a day with them as they led them to live by faith, have heart-to-heart talks, and share from their experiences.

“[Girls were led] to conclude that a person’s life without a dream is boring, empty, and meaningless,” one of the program organizers shared. “Dreams adorn everyday life, give meaning, encourage development, and, when achieved, bring satisfaction.”

At the same time, organizers said their goal was to make clear in the teenagers’ minds that an unrealized dream is not always a bad thing.

“Often it happens that not every dream can be achieved, and in those cases, it is important to understand the causes — both external and internal — for that, to make an assessment, and move on,” organizers explained. “As the Bible reads in Psalm 37:5, ‘Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass’” (NKJV).

The original version of the story was posted on the Euro-Asia Division news site.