The Fifth Space
It is imperative for young people to have a space where they can gain perspective and reflect upon who they are as individuals and as part of humanity. Developing their inner resources also means exploring one’s persona, relationships, spirituality, sexuality, ethics and world views.
The Fifth Space is one that exists beyond the four spaces inhabited by young people – family, friends, education/work, and leisure.
In this space, young people can come together, share their experiences, receive guidance and support from youth mentors, and reflect upon the various aspects of their lives. It is a space where they can be seen and heard for who they are, and gain acceptance from their peers and mentors.
We provide this space through our Youth Resource Centres, also known as YRCs.
In the last 27 years, through our YRC's outreach activities
As young people get more comfortable with and begin taking ownership of the fifth space, youth mentors begin to have individual discussions with them on a variety of topics. Life, love, or the cosmos – nothing is left out! Through these conversations, we understand each person’s unique universe, and guide them to a deeper level of participation and reflection through Samvada’s residential courses and workshops. Youth from different centres come together, enriching the space with their diverse identities and experiences.
Each centre builds the legacy of a generation of youth leaders who deeply care about social and ecological justice. Youth leaders, emerging out of each centre, often join hands with local movements in their geography, bringing fresh perspectives and working towards a just, humane, and sustainable world.
This Programme offers
Life Skills & Leadership
VRUTHI NOTA, as our career workshop is called, helps young people explore their work aspirations. Along with information on different careers, we provide a space where they can think beyond socially-desirable and socially-limited choices and careers. With information about the changing world of work, and reflections on their own motivations and needs, each person is supported to arrive at their own unique career path.
Students who show the potential and passion for leadership roles are also trained in contemporary social processes like:
- Leadership for Social Change: Potential leaders learn to analyse the impacts of globalization, the spread of fundamentalism and ecological crises. They also begin to work on short term and long term responses, while exploring the relevance of youth activism and its challenges. The workshop builds clarity about leadership roles, styles, and skills along with different perspectives on leadership. Students learn critical skills of understanding group dynamics, building consensus, taking responsibility for decisions/stances, and managing conflict, among others.
- Campaign Training: Young people are given training on how to design and manage a campaign all by themselves. The campaign training workshop equips them with the nitty-gritties of designing events, sharpening campaign slogans, developing great communication skills, managing campaign teams, liaising with colleges, the media and various communities.
- Coordinating a Campaign: Young leaders challenge and hone their abilities by leading campaigns in their local geographies. They become change makers, coming together to lead and influence campaigns for youth rights across campuses and different YRC’s.
- Social Movements and Initiatives for Social Change: Budding leaders are introduced to a wide range of social movements, individuals, and NGOs that fight for social justice. The philosophies, strategies and impacts of each of these are discussed so that young people are inspired, even while developing pragmatic ways of initiating change.
The YRCs provide infrastructural support to youth such as access to a library, computers and the internet. Our youth mentors are trained to provide support and guidance to every student who comes to the YRCs. It’s not just information on higher education that we provide; we help young people find and follow their dreams.
Young people are often seen as humanity’s hope, but we forget that they need to be supported as they make the difficult transition to adulthood.
We listen to their dreams and support them through their despair. We help them believe in themselves and aspire for better.
We interact with incredible young people who struggle to pursue their dreams in the face of great disadvantages. When the future of their education comes under threat due to financial constraints, we provide fee support as much as possible. We also step in when a student requires crisis support, in the eventuality of a medical or personal emergency.