Have you ever…
Wondered if there is more to life?
Wanted to contribute something worthwhile?
Searched for a higher purpose of living in the world?
Refused to give in to mediocrity and longed for excellence?
Experienced that itch “to be someone?”
Decades ago, a youth sought answers to the same questions and his search for them transformed him into a spiritual master known as Swami Chinmayananda. He brought the knowledge of the Rishis from the Himalayas into the living-rooms of homes across the globe.
The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) germinated from the glorious vision of Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda. Gurudev believed that youth had innate dynamism, energy, enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. However, these qualities were often misunderstood, not channeled properly, or underutilized. An oft-quoted saying of Gurudev’s is “Youth are not useless, they are used less.”
His vision was to nurture the untapped potential of youth and inspire them to bring about a spiritual renaissance in India and abroad. In accordance with this vision, YEP is a youth leadership program based on values and service. The youth are our nation’s greatest source of “renewable energy.” The youth also have the power to bring about much needed change especially when equipped with the right vision, essential life skills, and a sense of compassion. The youth can become powerful agents of change.
YEP is an initiative by Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK), the global youth wing of Chinmaya Mission. YEP was designed for the youth, to learn the principles of Vedanta, serve the community, and grow as dynamic, positive contributors to society.
Following the residential training program, each Yuvaveer (YEP graduate) will serve as key volunteers for various Chinmaya Mission projects and efforts. During this period of service, the Yuvaveer will organize and lead the youth-related activities of the center, including classes for children and youth, bhajan groups, personal development seminars, and camps/retreats. Yuvaveers can choose to serve on a full-time basis, or volunteer at the mission on a part-time basis while pursuiing their careers or studies. In the summer after each Yuvaveer’s YEP course, they will be required to dedicate 1-2 months in service as directors and coordinators for a particular Chinmaya Mission summer camp. They will, of course, be guided by a Swami or teacher of Chinmaya Mission, as well as by other Yuvaveers.
Learn. In the program, participants will be trained in Hindu philosophy, Indian culture, and principles of management, ethics, and organizational skills. The goal is to empower youth to become pillars of positive influence among their friends and community. Equipped with this training, the confident young adults will be able to effectively reach out and inspire their peers with their dynamic vision. They would bloom into caring, responsible individuals with a sense of pride and duty toward the society and nation.
Serve. Following the residential training program, each Yuvaveer will serve in an assigned Chinmaya Mission center for a period of 10 months. During this period of voluntary service, the Yuvaveer will organize and lead the youth-related activities of the center, including classes for children and youth, bhajan groups, personal development seminars, and retreats. Yuvaveers can choose to serve on a full-time basis, or volunteer at the mission on a part-time basis while pursuing their careers or studies.
Grow. The program gives youth a clear focus for the future and a motivating life goal. Yuvaveers are enriched with life skills and a positive experience of internal transformation. Their clarity and dynamism enable them to be global citizens with a universal outlook. Through experiential learning and service, YEP aims to create insightful leaders of the future.