Life skills is all about equipping young people with values-based decision-making skills. In and out of school, Scripture Union uses a fun, relevant, experiential learning program to help young people clarify their values and gives them skills to navigate life at this important stage of their development. It is offered as part of the Life Orientation subject in school, or out of school at camps or holiday clubs.
The project began in 1991, when the HIV pandemic was taking root in South Africa, as a response to the growing need for young people to learn how to think for themselves and avoid peer pressure in all areas of life.
They are encouraged to choose a set of values (hence behaviour) which would put them at least risk of negative consequences such as drug and alcohol abuse, gangs and also exposure to HIV. In short, young people learn:
- how to make good decisions
- how to develop a set of personal values
- how to set goals
- how to develop self-esteem
- how to engage with peers and authority figures
- how to think differently to the "crowd"
- how to value and respect life
- how to regard responsibilities (not just rights)
- how to live healthily (nutrition, etc.)
- how to formulate a belief system
- how to rise above personal and family circumstances
- how to interact appropriately with members of the opposite sex, amongst others
Contact your nearest SU regional office for more information on how to start a life skills programme in your school.