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Report by Elaine Fernandes
Pics: Rony D`Cunha
For Daijiworld News Network

Dubai, April 2: Awareness  ends and Responsibility begins -  and that was exactly what happened today at the Dubai Grand Hotel  when 76 young boys and girls attended a well organized Seminar specially arranged for the Teenagers between the ages of 14 – 17 years by Mangalore  Konkans, Dubai – a premier organization in the UAE
Teenage to Adulthood is a very restless age in one’s life. Due to biological changes, children are at crossroads in their behavioural pattern and hence need a lot of love, guidance and care from parents and the world around them. In today’s changing world, values are  fast changing and the youth of today being widely exposed to life are far different from the youth of yester years. In keeping tune to the changing values and inculcating in children of today the “Right” path to life, Tracy Rodrigues of Mangalore Konkans, Dubai conceived the idea and was assisted by her co members who spared no time and effort in organizing 5 speakers who are experts in their fields  to speak on different topics.

Aboline D’Cunha welcomed the gathering and while introducing the speakers for the day also explained the objectives of holding this seminar. Rev.Fr.Fred D’Souza Asst. Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Church Dubai along with Rev. Fr. Varghese,  the Vice Provincial of the Capuchins in the Vicariate of Arabia,  were present  and delivered their messages to the Teenagers.
Dr. Josephine Jose Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at the Rashid Hospital spoke on Responsible Love – Teenage Sexuality and Issues. She covered the biological aspects of human bodies and explained the need to be aware of  the harmful effects of premarital sex, use of contraceptives, abortions etc. 

Marisa Lobo Biddappa, a Clinical  Psycologist at the  Dubai Autism Centre and who writes for the Counselling column in  Young Times  enlightened the youth on meeting the challenges of Life.  She described through slides, the various facets of communication, interaction and problems that can challenge a teenager's  daily routine and also spoke extensively on the harmful psychological effects of premarital sex and the stand taken by society at large on the issue and positive points of celibacy. 
Errol Goveas, Sales Manager for Oman Airways conducted a lively session on the effect of Media on today’s youth. Media does play a very important role in the lives of teenagers and hence they have to take calculative decision that will help them to grow positively on the right path.

Carol Mathias, specialised in Counselling Psychology and is a  student counselor at the Al Diyafah School had a very interactive session with the group on  the Freedom and Responsibility of Living Alone. She got the youth to reason out for themselves the pros and cons of living alone and how they could make the right choice of their life.
Pastor Ashish Thomas – a senior executive who has traveled all round the world spoke of his own personal experiences that influenced his career. He spoke on Choosing the right friends and how one should be careful of the company of he/she keeps.  People who think that they are going to reach great heights but do not work hard to achieve it will only be disheartened when they do go down the drain.

The daylong session for children which had lunch and coffee breaks in between ended at around 4 p.m. with the feedback from two of the participants. Rowena D’Souza felt that the subjects were broached in a very smooth manner without any pressure on them and it had helped her change her view to life. Nelson Monteiro seemed very positive about what he had learnt through these sessions and now felt he could “choose the right path”.
Manohar Pais compered the day’s event and the final session ended with an interaction with the parents of the participants. The speakers were felicitated and honoured with a mememto given by the President of Mangalore Konkans – James Mendonca.  Errol Goveas briefed the parents on the topics that were covered by the 5 speakers and the parents were really happy and thankful to Mangalore Konkans for having taken this initiative to organize this seminar which not only enlightened the children but also made the parents aware of their responsibilities of making time for their children and listening to them.  One of parents who expressed how difficult it was to communicate with her child said that it was a great endeavour by Mangalore Konkans to have this educative seminar which spoke on sensitive subjects like Sex, love, relationships  etc which some parents cannot handle with ease.

To see the participants so lively and attentive even at the end of the whole day’s sessions was truly the proof of the success of the seminar. Many children who initially felt that they had to come for this programme just because their parents had registered for them were extremely happy that they did not miss this golden opportunity that they got at this seminar. There was not only an awareness that was instilled in them but also helped them to get rid of their fears, doubts and misconception of many issues like relationship with the opposite sex, premarital sex,  mass media, choosing friends, freedom and living alone etc which were covered by experts in the field. 


No doubt, the participants went home enriched with knowledge, refreshed minds and carried home valuable memories of  "The Journey - Teenage to Adulthood" alongwith  gift hampers from NMC Group of Companies and Souvenirs from Mangalore Konkans, Dubai


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