Starting in the twentieth century when technologies and industrial revolution hit the global trade, information became more accessible and increased exponentially. This allowed people to be more efficient in both personal and professional areas. People from each corner of the world are now able to be informed of worldwide daily news. Students writing dissertations can perform their research faster, and international meetings can be done remotely from home.
It apparently seems to make life easier, but there is a downside. Many individuals do not fully enjoy these changes because of an overload of work that is unmanaged and unstructured. It can lead some to see life as a burden. There are a multitude of theories and practices dealing with that, which are again accessible to people who are already confused with the amount of information.
One of the most common reasons for lack of happiness in people’s lives is lack of growth. At a certain point of time, people get stuck in their comfort zone. Most of us try to play it very safe in our lives. Instead, we are supposed to take profit of the advancement of today’s things and take risks. But many people don’t know how to deal with this situation. Happily, community initiatives like “Ny Tontoloko” are responding to this need and believe that life is a journey that deserves to be enjoyed.
“Ny Tontoloko” is a local Christian association from an Anglican church in Antananarivo, Madagascar, that promotes and shares life among young people. “Ny Tontoloko” is a Malagasy word that means “My World”. The association has just celebrated its first anniversary of existence in July. Formed with more than sixty members, the association is rich in diversity. From civil engineers to biomedical students, these volunteers gather to use their skills and help everyone. At the beginning, “Ny Tontoloko” worked specifically for environmental issues. But mid-term assessments pushed the management team to enlarge the areas of interventions and divide it into four fields of activities: personal development, business and entrepreneurship, health and well-being, and environment protection. The association believes that those four areas of interventions are the basis of promoting life among young people.
They have developed a process to help people manage overload and find joy. The leaders go into a community, look for the primary problems and needs, design a strategical approach, and rally the team. The volunteers are prepared to address the topics by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and explaining positive mindset process. Apart from the free or inexpensive trainings and conferences that the association gives, “Ny Tontoloko” also mobilizes people and resources within the church in order to provide physiological needs such as foods and clothes for marginalized people in isolated places. The direct recipients of the association’s activities are mostly people from outside the church.
A few weeks ago, the association partnered with a grassroots organization and implemented a recreative day for 50+ street kids aged between 2 to 17 years old. For its members, “Ny Tontoloko” is more than an association. It is a family where passionate people from diverse backgrounds are meeting, finding and sharing life.
The current trend of evolution will not stop increasing. It is about more and more of faster and faster of things. But we just have to cope with overload of information and needs, and therefore discern the necessities. People, especially youngsters, should set smart goals and use technologies to reach but not to abolish them. Changing someone’s perspective about life will surely not be done overnight, but small steps like “Ny Tontoloko”‘s activities are relevant to do so.