The Value of Empowerment

To empower is “to make an individual powerful or strong. When we talk about empowerment in kids and youth, we are referring to bringing out their innate potential. An empowered child is a child who makes decisions, acts confidently, knows and accepts himself, and takes on challenges. An empowered child is a child with a healthy self-esteem who is developing leadership skills.

Leadership is “the capacity to influence other people, generally to reach a goal.” A child or youth leader is one who motivates those around him so that they focus and do their best when they are trying to accomplish something.

In our ministry, UrbanPromise Honduras, one of our values is empowerment, and we focus on making our local youth feel empowered so that they can interact with and train the kids who participate in camps and the different activities going on in UPH. The result of this empowerment is impressive. The youth believe in their abilities and talents; and when the kids see their strength, they say that they dream of being leaders like our youth. 

When the camp staff ask for volunteers to lead a prayer, wash cups, hand out water, or simply announce that it’s time to go back inside, it’s hard for the directors because a lot of kids volunteer. This is the fruit of the empowerment that the youth receive and put in practice with the kids.

In one of my visits to our after-school camps, I remember seeing six-year-old kids wanting to lead a prayer at the beginning of the day in front of their friends. I was a witness to how there is a culture of service among the kids. I wondered why, even being so young, these kids have such servant hearts, but it’s because they have been empowered and they put in practice what they have been taught.

 

“My job isn’t to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” -Steve Jobs

 

Londin Velásquez - Supervisor of Children and Youth Programs