Was there ever a time in your life when you felt like you didn't belong? Or maybe there was no place even among friends where you felt like you fit in?
When we think about belonging, we often think of being accepted and valued. Be it within a community or in society, we long for a place where we can be our authentic selves without fear of judgment or rejection.
This was the case for one of our youths, Jase* who found this community in YGOS.
Here is his story:
"When I first walked into YGOS, I felt uncertain and nervous in this new environment – but soon, it became a second home where I could truly be myself.
Joining the mentoring program at YGOS was a turning point in my life. Not only did I learn new things, but also found a sense of belonging and connection I never experienced before.
Through the mentoring sessions, I learned valuable lessons that extended beyond academics. The mentors encouraged me to explore my own interests and passions, but more importantly, guided me in managing my emotions and developing meaningful friendships.
As I used to struggle with social interactions and self-confidence, the mentors at YGOS helped me come out of my shell and showed me that I had the ability to connect with others. One of the mentors, Eric, really impacted me with his encouragement.
I'll never forget the day he took me for a walk around the basketball court, reassuring me not to be shy. That simple act of kindness made me realise that I had the power to overcome my insecurities.
I am grateful to all the mentors at YGOS, especially Ravie, who played a significant role in my growth. He taught me new football skills and helped me grow more confident in myself and my abilities. Their unwavering support and encouragement have made a lasting impact on my life.
My journey at YGOS has taught me the power of support, encouragement, and a nurturing environment. It has shown me that with the proper guidance and an open heart, we can change positively."
Watching Jase's growth has been very encouraging and we hope that more youths that come through our doors will be able to experience empathy, support and nurturing relationships.
It is important to remember that belonging is an active pursuit and requires commitment to creating inclusive and nurturing spaces where youths can feel seen valued and heard.
If you would like to be a part of this journey with our youths, do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer for our programmes! *Name changed to protect the identity of our youth