Launch of FEEL Programme on Earth Day 2023
In the last decade, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recognised the crucial role of Faith Based Organisations in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur has received special Consultative Status from the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), acknowledging its commitment to this cause.
To encourage environmental leadership among children and youth globally, the UNEP-certified programme Faith for Earth Empathy Leadership (FEEL) was launched on April 22, by the revered hands of Pujya Gurudevshri and esteemed guests, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador for India, Mrs Dia Mirza and environmental activist, lawyer and recipient of ‘Champion of the Earth’ – the highest international environmental honour from the United Nations, Mr Afroz Shah.
Sevaks from Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur have been working closely with UNEP India and the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi for the past two years to develop this holistic, collaborative, experiential programme that inspires the youth to act towards climate change, environmental conservation and sustainability worldwide. The FEEL curriculum includes practical, actionable modules for children and teenagers, encouraging them to make personal lifestyle changes and inspire collective community transformation.
Applauding the programme, Mrs Dia Mirza shared, “The way the FEEL curriculum simplifies the 18 Sustainable Development Goals will teach young learners the practical action of being caring and empathetic.” Mr Afroz Shah also showered his appreciation, “I have been inspired by Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji’s words about how fighting is immature, and acceptance is mature. We have been fighting this planet and its other species for far too long. And the acceptance of our planet and co-existence is what the FEEL programme reflects and encourages young leaders to do. The impact of the programme will resonate for generations.”
At a time when universities and employers are looking for individuals who are emotionally and intellectually empowered, the FEEL programme unlocks quintessential values and fosters diverse skillsets. It is a milestone in environmental education for young people and a testament to a spiritual organisation’s power to lead the planet’s healing.
About the FEEL Programme
The programme has two levels – Junior (8-12 years) and Senior (13-18 years). Combining theoretical lessons with practical training, the 18-hour course is divided into six modules:
- Watch Your Waste
- Shift the Plastic Paradigm
- Make Every Drop Count
- Grow Green
- Embrace the Eco-Family
- Combat Climate Change
Each module has four core components built in, defined by the four E’s – Empathy, Envision, Execute and Empower. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a certificate, join the distinguished community of ‘Empathy Leaders’ and get opportunities to combat real-life environmental issues.
The programme is listed on the website of UNEP. It will be imparted through the 252 Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch Centres across the globe, and partner school and educational institutions.Time to bring about a lasting change in the hearts and minds of our young generation!