One Step at a Time
Like most good things in life, starting a YPD team is not something that can be achieved right away. To be successful it is important to follow the steps and progress slowly. The method set out here is not the only way to initiate a YPD community, but it is a method that has proved to be effective in the past. The ideas presented should be used as a guide and adapted to the situations faced in different countries.
Step 1. Preparation, the study stage
If you wanted to erect a new building you would probably begin in this way. Firstly you would decide on a plan for the new building that would fulfil your special needs. Secondly you would organise a building team, ensure that they understood the plan clearly and commission them to work until the building was completed. This is also the first step of the method we use to begin a YPD team.
Step 2. Making friends, the contact stage
In this stage the team begins to meet young people and to talk to them about the plan to start a YPD community. They try to make a friendly contact, and to offer an opportunity for those interested to come along and find out more. Those who show some interest are invited to ‘come and see what YPD is about’ at an Introductory Meeting.
Step 3. Forming a community
The new group begins to meet regularly. For this stage we have a plan of eight weekly meetings. By following this program the group becomes a group of friends who begin to share about their lives. They grow in trust and confidence, start to take action, and learn something of the YPD methodology. One of the group is chosen to lead the meeting for the following week.
Step 4. Getting organised
The time has come for the group to take over responsibility for their YPD community – to elect leaders and to appoint an activity committee. This second eight-week period is a time of learning the YPD method more deeply. It is a time also of preparation for the first activity.
Step 5. Moving into the community
No YPD team should ever become isolated. There are three main areas of responsibility that we should look at in this stage.
The new team should officially register as a new YPD team with the coordinating YPD team in the area or nation.
The new team belongs also to the area they live and work in. They must find ways to deepen their analysis and become more involved in the issues affecting that community.
The new team should reach out to other young people in the area to involve them in YPD action and activities and to build friendship and solidarity