Wednesday, 30 July 2014


July 30, 2014
Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes visited St. Stephen's Middle School - Cumbala Hill to animate 135 students from STD V - VII and 7 Teachers of the school. Fr. Ernest Fernandes, manager of the school warmly welcomed the guest speakers and made them feel at home. Thanks to Mrs. Mavis, ex principal of the school for her warm words of welcome and gratitude to the AVEC team for taking the time to speak the students and teachers of the school. Floral bouquets were presented to both the speakers.
At the very outset, the students were highly disciplined and focused on the program ahead. One could sense a deep eagerness to learn something new and to make the best use of the opportunity that came their way. The program began with a common prayer and song led by Mrs. Mavis. Mr. Fernandes began his session with a Prayer song followed by a few moments of guided meditation. The use of rhythmic breathing and connecting to everyday life was a very helpful way of calming down. He then introduced Fr. Glenn to them.
The normal two and a half hour session for students was reduced to just an hour. While the four hour session for the teachers was also reduced to just 50 minutes. With the help of simple examples and the use of a PowerPoint presentation, Fr. Glenn was able to draw the attention of the students to make choices for 'higher values'. "In life, when it comes to material goods, were always choose the higher valued goods. But in our social, spiritual and emotional life, we also choose the lesser value", he said. We chose revenge rather than forgiveness, hate over love, dishonest over honesty and the list goes on and on!
 The students were taught the importance of doing one's daily duties well rather than choosing 'excuse' as a norm to justify our laziness. He also challenged the students to start 'Making a Difference' and to listen to one's inner voice. "My Life: A Valued Journey" was an opportunity to look a the values of having a 'winners' attitude, working together as a team and to have the courage to share one's personal life and story with the teachers and parents.
 In the short meeting with the teachers, Fr. Glenn focused on making the necessary value based shifts and to start making 'Qualitative changes' in their daily lives. School, sadly only promotes 'quantitative changes' and rewards those who only achieve 'more of the same'. When students are aware that the teachers and management also focuses on 'value based changes' rather than mere academic progress, then the whole school becomes better and more qualitative in nature.
 At the end of the session, Ms. Mansi Sharma, head girl proposed a vote of thanks on behalf of the students. While for the teachers, Ms. Sarika Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks.
 A number of teachers, wrote down their comments in the AVEC log book:
"Thank you Fr. Glenn for guiding us on the right track to be happier, healthier and holier" -  Varsha
"Thanks for your enlightening session on "Management By Values", you have taught us how all of us can make a difference if we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses. keep us in your prayers that we may bring the changes in the lives of our students and ourselves too" -  Mrs. Philomena lobo
 "Thank you, a word that changed our life" - Fatima
 "Excellent work and thanks for helping the millions in our society and world at large" - Mavis

Congratulations to the management, staff and students of St. Stephen's Middle School - Cumbala Hill for your very warm hospitality and cooperation all through the program and for being so attentive and participative too.
May god bless you all and may your educative journey with the young bear much fruit.

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