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Religious Youth Service

Training Religious Youth Service Leaders in the Netherlands

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Netherlands - The talk amongst senior Religious Youth Service trainers these days is that we need another generation of trainers to understand the methodology and technique of RYS interreligious service learning education, because the need for such is becoming more and more apparent in our ever-expanding interreligious and global-minded society. Therefore, the RYS yearly schedule includes at least two "Train the trainers" seminars each year, one training being presented to Youth Service Initiative (YSI), a partner for peace.

From March 16 to 19, 2008, YSI and some additional youth interested in service learning could be found in the Train the Trainers program held in the Netherlands. This training was designed specifically for the participants of the YSI but open to other interested youth. The program included the YSI team of 11 plus five additional youth. Drs. Ron and Sherry Hartman-Burr in cooperation with Carol Pobanz held the workshop at a local university.

Participants were introduced to the service learning education of the Religious Youth Service including the methodology and an opportunity to practice "teach" portions of the education. The youth were intellectually and actively involved in the education. Many expressed there appreciation for this unique education.

Participant Agnes Gumpelmair reflected, "Because our three leaders could share a lot of experience and the participants were motivated to do this training, the learning atmosphere was a lot better than in school. Although the program schedule was tight and sometimes strenuous, I gained skills I could use in school and in the leadership training of our local service organization in Austria. Thank you for this great possibility."

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