Each year, the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) –with a core mandate of building a stronger mind-set in the youth through cultural exchange and sharing of ideas, organises ‘World Youth Culture Camps’in over 80 countries across the world: the biggest camp worldwide whichconverges over 500,000 youths annually.
Since 2008, the IYF-Ghana has played host to over 40,000 participants. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic safety protocols and restrictions set out by governments the world over, Ghana inclusive – asituation which has caused most summer camps and conferences to be either cancelled or postponed to later dates, the camp could not be held as it could have ordinarily been. Notwithstanding the inconveniences the coronavirus has caused the entire world, the IYF found a new opportunity in the ‘new normal’to host the camp virtually, dubbed; ‘2020 IYF Online World Camp’.
The online conference was laden with rich presence of dignitaries and personalities to give it an extraordinary feel.
The first lady of Ghana, Her Excellency Rebecca Akufo-Addo, delivered the keynote address to mark the opening of the camp on 30th July 2020. Speaking at the program, she applauded the IYF on its consistent efforts on changing the youth. She also commended Rev. Dr Ock Soo Park on his efforts over the years to change Ghana youth.She urged all Ghanaian youth to fully participate in programme.
Other dignitaries that graced the opening ceremony includePresident of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, former President of Paraguay, His Excellency Fernando Lugo, ex-footballer, Didier Drogba and other high profile personalities in industry and government.
The camp lasted for 3 days and four nights; it was packed with varied activities. The program began at 8:00am with group discussions to prepare the minds of participants.Each day of the camp commenced with major activities like academy (a series of programmes meant to equip participants with some soft skill-sets), talent show,and mind-set education among othersand followed with lectures on how one could be free from sin and eternal condemnation by Rev. Dr Ock Soo Park. The Gracias Choir as usual, staged wonderful performances to entertainthe participants.There were daily lectures from notable speakers.
The IYF helps young people to unearth and nurture their talents through the talent show. During the event, the participants were allowed to record short videos of themselves exhibiting their talents and they were allocated to mentors for grooming. Outstanding participants were awarded at the end of the programme.
The academy is a series of programmes meant to equip participants with some soft skill-sets.Aside from language skills which included (Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese, German, Chinese, etc.), experts in animation, blogging, fire and safety, among others took turns to equip the participants with some basic soft skills. Ameyaw Debrah, a popular Ghanaian blogger, was in charge of the blogging academy while Louis Appiah, an accomplished animator of Nazir fame, tutored some basics of animation.
“I amastudent of the University of Education, Winneba.I joined the online conference from 30th July-2nd August 2020. It was a very inspiring moment with the great man of God. I have learnt so many things from his (Rev. Dr Ock Soo Park) lectures. From the story of the adulterous woman and the prisoner who returned from prison without allowing himself to be tempted again. I know salvation is for everyone who believes that Christ came to die so we might be saved.
The group meeting was helpful. Thanks to the group administrators and facilitators for their timely updates of all activities. I joined the fire academy and I got to know so many things that I could do to prevent fire outbreak at home, school and even at the workplace.
Pastor Park is a great man of God. He teaches for you to understand: even complex things are made simple. I enjoyed his lectures.” – Sadock Ofori, Ghana.
“I am a student of theKwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. I really enjoyed his mind lectures. They are very practical and so I’m able to remember even long after he’s done. Group meetings are very helpful because I’m able to get links to fill the lecture forms, program schedule and links to join the sessions. I couldn’t join the academy but they all looked very exciting. I listened to Didier Drogba and I really learnt a lot. His speech was very inspiring.” – Adjei-Sah Ophelia Asantewaa, Ghana.
“It was powerful and inspiring. It gave me encouragement. From the testimony about John Choi, he never gave up in his situation.The group meeting helped me to express my thoughts and taught me how to be confident.I enjoyed fire academy because I learnt some tricks to escape from fire outbreaks. Rev OckSoo Park is a great and powerful man of God.He taught me how to believe and have faith in Christ.” – Anyigba Jennifer Fafali, Mawuko Girls’ Senior High School, Ghana.
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