A week long Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Youth Alive congress officially commenced yesterday at the Maranatha Hall, near Burns Creek, East Honiara.
The event brought together more than 3000 youth groups and students who are members of the Adventist tertiary and secondary students association (ATSSA) from Honiara, the provinces and overseas countries like Vanuatu, Fiji and Australia.
The youth camp is being held after every two years and this is the third time for the event to be staged at the Maranatha campsite.
The official launching kicked off with a march parade from Lawson Tama all the way to Maranatha Hall in Burns Creek early yesterday morning.
Despite the distance and mild heat, the youths took to the road in their uniforms and banners under police escort in the parade.
The official opening was done on the playing infront of the Maranatha Hall by officials from the church, government and the Honiara city council.
In an interview with Solomon Star a supporter of the event and city councilor for Kola’a ward 8, Bongi Darlingi said that the purpose of the congress is to bring youths together to find positive alternatives through Christ.
“Such event is to ensure they treat each other with dignity, honor and respect, value each other as the child of God.
“Bringing the youths together to also ensures that they reach out to others to tell them to stay free and avoid involving in drag or unlawful activities,” he added.
Darlingi added program also aims to unlock the chain to addiction for youths.
“Our task is to work with youths in Honiara, urban centres and rural areas who faces multiple barriers to their safety and success.
“To provide training to youths to build their leadership skills and support them in advocating for solutions to violence for themselves and their communities,” he said.
The councilor added that the program was an opportunity for youths to mingle with each other or friends to ensure that no matter where they live, they realize their full potential because they have the right to live and be safe.
Throughout the week there will be various activities that will be featured such as health workshops, music workshops, social activities, games and capacity building.
There will be devotion sessions each morning and evenings.
“This is to empower youths and also at the same time provide awareness for them to avoid involving in unlawful activities.
“And also to strengthen their Christian faith in Christ,” Mr Darlingi said.
Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) president George Fafale while welcoming the youths thanked them for participating in the event.
He told the youths that the four important areas to uphold to develop a strong youth ministry are;
• Spiritually develop your life in Christ;
• Mentally develop you in the area of excellency;
• Develop physically in mind to be fit in social winning areas and;
• Develop your christian social live that is through interaction and building relationship with our communities, people and also Adventist youths to teach others to find or have Jesus
“Make use of this week to develop these four areas in you to reach out for the lives of other people,” he said.
An official from the youth department within the ministry of women, youth and children affairs also acknowledged the church for hosting the event and encouraged the youths and students to take advantage of the program and to learn from the topics that will be offered.
Yesterday more youth members from Vanuatu arrived in the country to join some of their members who have arrived last week.
Mr Darlingi meanwhile appealed to other churches, stakeholders and other organisations to support or initiate such program to support youths of our country to make our country a better place to live.
The program will end this weekend.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO