Rev. Park Ock-soo, the founder of International Youth Fellowship (IYF), is seeking to build an education program for young people. Park shares his prospective ideas and outlook on possible alternatives to the program and for the youth amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Park has developed “mind education,” which seeks to create a mindset that enables students to overcome difficulties, fulfill responsibilities and help prevent things such as abuse, cruelty and suicide. And he has promoted this through meetings with state leaders and the heads of youth and education ministries before the pandemic spread in countries such as Kenya. After the spread of COVID-19, however, Park continues to discuss matters through online meetings.
On the topic of the impact of COVID-19 on young teenagers, Park shared such issues are especially serious in Africa and South America. In the midst of rising mental difficulties amid the virus, youth in those areas are often exposed to the dangers of drugs, alcohol and guns. With this, there is also concern for single mothers as well.
“My work aims to put gratitude, joy and hope into people’s hearts but they are suffering greatly from the pandemic and fear it,” he said, “Physical illness is a great problem, but illness of the heart is an even greater and more dangerous problem.”
Rev. Park continued IYF events through online platforms this year, including the IYF World Camp, followed by other prominent events. He said there was much work done online and through broadcasting, along with partnerships with Christian channels such as CTN and TBN.
“It was unfortunate that we could not get together, but online platforms allowed connection with more people. Moreover, discussions with governments on mind education projects have actively continued online,” he shared.
In particular, online discussions have been made with the Kenyan government to implement mind education as public education. For this, they created a textbook for mind education and published mind books for young people.
Although Park did not have the opportunity to personally travel overseas due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, discussions on mind education began in many countries. He believes the situation will get better soon, and hopes to proceed with the projects once the pandemic gets better.
“It is a difficult time now, but it is all the more reason to implement mind education. I will continue to guide young teenagers’ hearts to happiness,” Park said.
“If you fill your heart with joy and gratitude, pain and fear cannot come into your heart. Do not stay in state of trouble but live with a full heart and hope, and I believe you can live a vibrant and blessed life,” Rev. Park emphasized, “I hope young people all around the world will fall asleep in joy and wake in their hopes and wishes.”
By Song Donna (firstname.lastname@example.org