Twice a year the Bishops of the Durban Metropolitan Province meet for a couple of days. The first day we meet "alone" sharing on our personal life and ministry and the second day we meet with the Religious Superiors and the Vicar Generals.
Sometimes we invite someone to share with us on the first day. This is what happened last week. Cardinal Napier introduced Izabella Little-Gates to us. She is the founder of the "Life Talk Forum".
It all started when she wrote letters to her daughter about life: “I wanted to make sure that should anything happen to me she would still be able to learn from my life experience through the letters I had written her”. Over the years Izabella had written to her daughter about all aspects of life that would equip her for her teenage and young adult years; including how to succeed; how to cope with loss, change, and tragedy; practical life skills; marriage and relationships.
When others found out about this wealth of information that she had written down for her daughter they urged her to have it published as a book so that other families could benefit from this treasure that she had stored up. This resulted in the development of her first book Life Talk for a Daughter which was followed by others: Life Talk for a Son, Life talk for parents and Tug of Life.
We spent more than an hour together in which she presented familiar challenges our youth are experiencing and the possible options: worry and do the ostrich or... help the youth to make life-enriching choices.
She chose to "personified" the characters, having life as "field" where on the left there are the challenges (bad stuff, these are problems but you can do something about them), on the right the galvanisers (what is positive, of help) but where there are also "ch-izers" a combination of "challenges" and "galvanisers". Things like "technology" which is good but can become a challenge in many ways.
The video below (linked to their webpage) presents it very well in just 3 minutes.
We decided to give it a try. We are calling the youth leaders of our parishes and dioceses to attend a workshop in Durban on 12 October (10 am to 1 pm).