The numbers were just unbelievable…
Just 201 selective alumni from Markhor and other outdoor experiential programs of Youth Impact, were asked about how are they applying their social leadership spirit during #Covid19, the response was mind blowing for most of us.
These young men and women, in the age of 17 – 25, couldn’t sit idle during the lock down. They were trained in the Himalayas of Pakistan, to give back, to lead, and to serve with a sense of purpose and mission. That’s why they call themselves Proud Markhors!
On average, one Youth Impact alumnus (out of these 201 respondents):
- arranged ration for 57 needy families
- raised Rs. 85,000
- served 900 individuals
- & volunteered 18 hours to achieve this impact
Wonder what fuels this level of commitment and responsibility amongst these young men and women?
Here’s the secret recipe integrated in the wilderness based experiential learning, from where these youth return transformed as purposeful young social leaders just within a 5 days of experience.
The Markhor Spirit
The five days of wilderness experience inspires them with the mindset of a Markhor, who survives at high altitude, endures harshness of weather, faces scarcity of food and yet, stands tall with pride and honor. We named it Markhor Spirit in the Youth Impact world, which is a combination of:
- Self belief – about the abilities they have got and a sense of greater purpose to deploy these talents.
- Resilience – the ability to face challenges and bounce back like a Markhor.
- Adaptability – the ability to mold themselves according to the circumstances.
- Resourcefulness – using their mental and emotional abilities, finding solution within limited or no resources.
- & Survival Instinct – the belief and competence within to fight the odds, manage the responses, find out the way and reach the destination.
A rhythmic physical & emotional programming experience where all young fellows stand in one big circle, looking into each others eyes, converging entire youthful energy and following their leader through the three phases of:
- Self discipline – where each individual learns to practice self control.
- Rhythm – where they experience the seamless sense of togetherness
- & Fire within – to express their resolve for changing the world to a better, peaceful and co-existing place
First Ever Experiences
Markhor offers a wide range of unique and life changing experiences to young leaders, where on average, one person goes through 21 ‘First Ever‘ experiences of their life. Things like camping for the first time, cooking their own meal, trekking in mountains, meeting diverse people, outdoor leadership learning, star gazing, reaching at 10,000 feet above sea level or even using a toilet under the open sky 😊 are some of the magical moments that Markhors experience with Youth Impact.
Why first ever experiences matter or how they are linked with what these young leaders are doing during Covid19?
Almost all ‘first ever’ experiences of life are associated with uncertainty, fear of failure, thrill & excitement or a sense of discovery. No matter, what the outcomes of these experiences are, they help us develop self awareness & confidence, learn what works and what not, and how to do it right, and ultimately advancing in life with courage and determination.
Having plenty of ‘first ever’ experiences, especially in a structured setting like Markhor, these young leaders take away the confidence and courage to serve communities, face the unknown, reach out to strangers and do wonders by challenging their own comfort zones. That’s exactly what they replicated in last one month of their volunteer work during Covid19.
The Freedom Bell
The most profound spiritual journey within Markhor, where the delegates live their whole imaginary life climbing up a steep mountain, reflecting on their past, smiling on their silly lapses, crying their heart out at high emotional states, and while being absolutely in a mute mode, undertaking for a new life with the sense of purposefulness, giving back and living with minimal regrets.
The wholesome journey employs not only their physical being, but their heart, mind and spirit at the same time, and that’s why it has that stickiness which is poured out whenever a call for action is given. And this spirituality of Markhor is what doesn’t let them refrain from their contribution even in a threatening situation like Covid19.
Youth Impact is founded with a mission to develop purposeful and character based young social leaders.
We have been doing this religiously for last seven years, with the faith that these young alumni will play their part whenever life expects them. Thanks to Covid19 which helped us see the impact of our work with our own eyes and strengthen the justification of why we have dedicated our lives to Youth Impact.