And The Circle Expands: Ripple Effect Of The 5th Space

By Malavika Pavamani:

Grace and Jerome have been two true ambassadors of 5th Space. These two young career counselors from the Bosco Institute in Jorhat, Assam in north east India joined the Ocean in a Drop learning journey (By Pravah) in March 2012. They expected that they would get a chance to discover more about who they are, as well as equip themselves with skills to work with young people in a more effective manner. The OID journey was indeed one that touched their lives in different ways.

This journey has been wonderful for me. It has really helped to discover the person inside me. I always had the interest of knowing myself in a deeper way but I did not know what it can do and how it can let us feel in life. Being a part of this journey helped me to understand its real value and importance.


This journey has given me a piece of reality about my life which was very much needed at this point of time. It is such a huge relief keeping in touch with myself, appreciating for the good things in me and also putting more efforts in the areas in which I need to improve. ~ Grace

Had it not been for this retreat I would be satisfied with what I am. This workshop has taught me importance of self-reflection, self-realization and to share my feelings with others. This has helped me to build better relationships with the people around me. The confidence level has increased since I am now able to know my strength and weakness which add more value to the work. ~ Jerome

Grace and Jerome felt that their journey of self discovery and connecting with the self was made special as the workshop created for them a Space that was safe, collaborative, joyful, as well as open to experiment and innovation. Apart from the traditional Spaces of family, leisure, career, and friends they experienced a new dimension of 5th Space, an integral part of their life as young people.

Their role at Bosco Institute as career counselors involves working with students who engage with various communities to bring about change. Through their journey, they realized that to help the students function effectively, they should encourage the students to know themselves, their struggles and identity and then connect with the society around them. This led them to decide on conducting a three day workshop with these students to share the core learning from their 5th space journey.

In the process of creating and building an understanding of the 5th Space concept of youth development for the students, Grace and Jerome were exploring their own 5th Space too. Together with 35 students from 17 different communities, they looked within to see the depth that each of them has and how they want to take their own life forward. The session around the 5th Space made the students reflect on their own potential as agents of change.

A participant, Rebek L. Khiangte at the workshop said, “These three days’ workshop helped me to know myself better and what I want to be in the future. The workshop has given me the chance to know about others and rebuild my relationship with my classmates. I was also able to let go of my bad habits and nature which was a hindrance to my becoming a better human being.”

The most interesting experience for Grace and Jerome as facilitators of this journey for other young people was that the 5th Space was one that had organic renewal as a key principle. This meant that young people were by virtue of the diversity within them and their own uniqueness, constantly adding to the Space. The greatest challenge for them was a limited experience of the 5th Space themselves and thus limited knowledge about it. However with time they realised that it was a collective Space of sharing, trusting and creating. Thus the facilitators’ openness and trust in the process enriched the 5th Space. By the end of the workshop they were convinced that they would like to incorporate the concept of 5th Space’ in the career counseling programs with schools.

A special thanks to Grace and Jerome with support from Fr. Jerry, the Director of BI for having experienced the 5th Space, believing in and now creating ripples of it in the North East region. Since February 2013, a large graffiti board installed at the Bosco Institute serves as a 5th Space for students to express their ideas and experiences.

Photo Credit: Andrew.Beebe via Compfight cc

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