Life Skills Programming
Life skills Programming is an essential component in our service delivery to the young people who live in the HomeBridge Youth Community. The term “Life skills” is used to describe a set of basic skills acquired through learning and/or direct life experience that enable individuals and groups to effectively handle issues and problems commonly encountered in daily life.
NICEF, UNESCO and WHO list the ten core life skill strategies and techniques as: problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication skills, decision-making, creative thinking, interpersonal relationship skills, self- awareness building skills, empathy, and coping with stress and emotions. (WHO, 2020). The therapeutic programs offered in the HomeBridge Community take different forms, including creative arts, sports and recreation, cooking, etc. They all, however, have one commonality – life skills development. The facilitators of these programs, whether they be Youth Care Workers, Recreation Therapists, Art or Music Therapists, weave skill development into every activity they do. For example, a young person who is taking part in Music Therapy may be learning to play the guitar, but the process is helping them build a positive relationship with the Music Therapist, work on problem solving and creative thinking, helping them to develop a hobby that can be used as a coping strategy for their stress and anxiety.
Life skills are important because they give young people more control to improve their lives. These skills provide young people with a better understanding of themselves and others, so that they can make better choices and learning strategies to help them cope with changing events in their lives. Specifically, life skills learning can help young people to become more aware of: what they are doing; how they are doing things; how they obtain information; and how themselves and others think, feel and behave.
Life Skills Education Handbook, Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life (WHO, 2020, p37).
““My favorite part of programming is that we go out
and have fun.”
- HomeBridge Youth