The Townshend Social Action Programme
“Learning through action” is the principle that lies at the heart of the Social Action Programme. The programme, designed specifically for Grades 7, 8 and 9, combines knowledge developed in Civics units (like Health, Environment and Justice), with the study of character development themes and the planning of community service projects.
Creative attention is devoted to involving junior youth in activities that will engage their interests, mould their capacities for service, and assist them to positively influence their community.
The concept of ‘Empowerment’ is central to the facilitation of the programme. It means that young people are encouraged to take ownership of their personal development and building their capacity for meaningful social action in their communities.
Within the group the youth study aspects of character development, develop the power of expression, discuss difficult issues with peers, create art, and plan and carry out service projects.
Crucial to the empowerment process is the role of the ‘Animator’, a trained older youth and/or teacher who facilitates participation in various efforts, such as discussions, arts and service projects.
“Concern for the moral and spiritual education of young people is asserting itself forcefully on the consciousness of humanity, and no attempt at community building can afford to ignore it.”