Global Immersion Journey of SAPUC Student Sonia Cathy Lasrado
Mangaluru: Sonia Cathy Lasrado, a student at St. Aloysius Pre-University College, was chosen to participate in Friends Forever International’s (FFI) Global Immersion Program. FFI, a global non-profit organization based in Durham, NH, USA, collaborates with diverse groups, focusing on individual leadership and community action. This year’s program took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, recently, with representatives from Austria, Brazil, Canada, India, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Turkey, with Sonia representing India.
The program’s core mission is to deepen participants’ self-awareness, help them understand community challenges, and cultivate skills for addressing these challenges. During the ten-day program, participants lived together without technology and followed a 100% plant-based diet. Their daily activities included self-discovery sessions, identity workshops, and communication improvement exercises. They also shared insights about their respective cultures through photographs from their home countries and engaged in physical activities like meditation, trekking, and games.
Furthermore, participants connected with local youth groups, discussed health and wellness services for rural areas with organizations, gained political insights through meetings with the Northern Ireland Assembly, and participated in various other activities. The leadership component of the program focused on developing creative, sustainable, and effective solutions to community challenges. This involved refining public speaking skills through speeches, feedback, and support from FFI Global Alumni, who served as program counselors and mentors, guiding and mentoring participants throughout the program.
Overall, the program aimed to deepen participants’ self-awareness, enhance their understanding of community issues, and equip them with the skills needed for collaborative leadership and positive change.