Training for work with the Ladya program

A seminar on training children’s psychologists, social educators, church diakonia and youth workers for work with the Ladya prevention program took place on June 3-8, 2013, in Moscow. It was organized by the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations with the help of the clergy of the church dedicated to the Renewal of the Temple of the Resurrection of Christ at Jerusalem, near St. Daniel Monastery.

Ladya is a program for prevention of risk behaviours and HIV/AIDS among teenagers. It has been developed by a team of ecclesial and secular specialists including teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists and is intended for teaching as additional knowledge in general education schools, boarding schools, youth camps, etc. It is aimed at giving teenagers spiritual and moral guidelines and motivation for responsible behaviour minimizing the risk of drug addiction, alcoholism and contagion of socially dangerous diseases. The Ladya program has been implemented since 2009. Today, training under this program is carried out in educational institutions in 10 regions in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The training has been undertaken by over 10.000 children.

In Moscow, a training seminar for the use of the Ladya program was held for the first time. It was attended by 23 teachers and psychologists from Moscow and the Moscow Region as well as representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The training was conducted by specialists from the Bryansk-based church-public organization ‘Blago’.

The participants made a high assessment of the professionalism shown both by the trainers and the Ladya program itself. Below are opinions about the program expressed by participants in the seminar.

‘Working in school, I often felt a lack of self-confidence because I was afraid of being unintelligible or incorrect in explaining to a child things about ethical or spiritual values. But the Ladya program has shown how to correctly explain to a child what happiness, kindness and love are. It optimally combines psychologically competent approaches and spiritual growth. We do not think over how much we have — our health, our family, our friends. We tend to value these things when we lose them. This program helps us to think over what we have and to begin to value it. Even if it is done in the form of a play during a lesson, children understand and learn things better through a play’.

‘I have found this program to be very valuable as it has methodologically worked out in detail various important issues that should be discussed with children. Especially important for me were the topics of Happiness and Values. I see many opportunities in the future for using this program in our city, in its schools, vocational colleges, Sunday schools, family camps in which there are many teenagers’.

‘I work with adults who are dependent on alcohol and drugs. Having undertaken this training, I have realized that it is a universal program fit for my work as well’.

‘This training rises in a very harmonious way many value aspects important for a person, believer or non-believer. It is especially important for children because we live at a time when dubious values are imposed on us. Ladya is important as an integral system of the moral education of the child’.