Monday, 12 August 2013


August 12, 2013
For the first time, AVEC had the opportunity to conduct a Value Orientation Program for Three hundred and fifty students of Loreto Convent High School - Chembur. Thanks to its manager, Sister Geetha and the Principal, Ms. Sulekha Unnikrishnan that this program was organized months in advance.The guest speakers, Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes and Fr. Glenford Lowe were warmly welcomed and introduced by Ms. Sulekha. She invited the students to grab the opportunity being offered to them and to start living their lives differently. The theme for the day was 'Living By a Value Compass'.
Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes started the session with a beautiful interfaith prayer song,  'Sarveshaam, Swastir Bhavathu',that invoked God's blessings of auspiciousness, health, peace, prosperity, peace and abundance. This was followed by a meditative moment. The students were invited to focus on their inner selves and recall their school days, while following a rhythmic patter of breathing. The period of silence that followed was intense and one could sense a sincere 'inner connect' with self and God. Mr. Rochwyn then took the opportunity to give a brief narration of the noble act of Fr. Glenn in donating his kidney to another fellow Salesian priest.
 The session that followed was conducted by Fr. Glenn. 'Living by a Value Compass' focused on one's past, present and the way forward in 'Making a Difference' along the valued path. Citing a number of examples, from Ms. Kia Scherr's act of forgiveness and respect for the sacredness of life, to the young Ryan Hreljac's Well Foundation, to the courageous Malala Yousafzai, Fr. Glenn challenged the young students to life life as a sacred contribution to building a better humanity. "You have one life to live, live it abundantly, don't let it slip without leaving behind a legacy," he challenged them.
Resetting one's Value compass begins by asking 'meaning questions' rather than focusing on mere 'survival questions'. In life, it is not a matter of how fast you get there, but whether you are on the right track. Living by a Value Compass gets you there! "In striving to reach your goals in life, excuse is not a Value," he stressed. Students were then invited to look at their favorite excuses and start working to attain their goals in life. Through the use of a PowerPoint presentation, a lot of everyday examples and personal testimonies, and moments for personal reflection coupled with a lot of humor, the three hundred and fifty students remained glued to every word that was inspiring, motivation and even disturbing at time.
In the final part of the session, Fr. Glenford focused on TWELVE DIAMOND VALUES that are important to live a wholesome life. For every value derived, the students had an opportunity to listen to a song, or watch a motivation clip or listen to a personal testimony. Start with having a winning attitude. The value of winner's attitude was stressed upon because in life, your attitude in life determines your altitude in life. The students were invited to stop befriending 'failure' and to recognize that their life is valuable and lovable too.  
The Values of Team Work, Communication, Confidence, Creativity, Corrections, Multitasking, Self Motivation, Accountability, Seeing the Bigger Picture, Time Management and Living a Balanced Life in Body-Mind-Heart-Soul and finally living a Life of Abundance was also stressed. Value Education is about Becoming and it is a life long process too.
At the end of the session, Head Girl Amanda Misra proposed the vote of thanks. A number of students came forward to write their words of appreciation in the AVEC log book:
"Fr. Glenn, thank you for charging our souls from a negative situation into a very positively charged one" - Devika VIII-A
"Fr. Glenn thank you for coming to our school and encouraging us students. from now on, we will go MAD (Making a Difference" - Aaisha VIII - A
"Today's session was sheer enlightenment, it was like a breath of fresh air in all of our lives. Thank you" -  Shonali X-B
 "Today's session was truly very inspiring. This session has really given me guidelines to live my life. Thanks a lot to Father Glenn" -  Khushboo IX-A
"We will live our life by a Value Compass as if it is our last day and make a difference too" - Anoushka IX-A
"Today's session which was conducted by Fr. Glenn was really inspiring. It is surely going to make some difference in my life. i will surely try my best to become MAD. Make A Difference" - Rajashree IX-B
"Thank you so much Father Glenn. Your session was extremely good. It was inspirational, motivational and fun. Didn't find a moment of boredom. It was a bliss to sit in your session. Will surely keep the diamond rules in mind" - Namrata X-A

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