“I loved the experience of sharing and people listening.”
Between 1997 and 2001 Peter Jenkins met with groups of young people and listened to what they had to say. What he heard was that young people in general felt confused and disheartened and were facing a major challenge in making sense of the world and their place in it. Many felt that there was a lack of appropriate services and support for them in this process. It is easy to say, "The youth are the future of the world", but where is the investment in this future?
It became obvious to Peter that there was a great need for young people to be supported and offered an opportunity to discover their own unique talents and to be empowered to express them in the world.
Another aspect to emerge was the lack of opportunity in today’s world for young people to mark and celebrate their transition from childhood to adulthood. So the importance of experiencing a rite de passage was understood.
Peter had the vision for the YES Quest as something that could serve these needs.
The First YES Quest
In 2001, the Guerrand Hermes Foundation for Peace (GHFP) provided generous funding and a team was assembled to organise and facilitate a Quest in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Seventeen people from seven different countries aged between 17 and 34 attended and pioneered the Jungle Quest 2001. It was a remarkable experience that none will forget.
Following the success of that first Quest, the YES Quest team developed and successfully ran subsequent Quest events in Central Australia, the Austrian alps, southern France, in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and in Kalimantan again. These subsequent Quests have developed and evolved but retain the core element of the combination of the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ journeys.
All this led to the establishment of YES Quest International, an organization dedicated to supporting young people in understanding their talents and applying them in practical ways that lead towards their life path.
The YES Quest Approach
There are a variety of elements in YES Quest programs that contribute to success. As well as the 'inner' and 'outer' journeys in great locations, strong emphasis is given to building a supportive and trusted Quest community. Relationships established during Quests can extend for a long time after the program has finished.
Great use is made of creative activities – painting, outdoor installations, music and theatre sports – to learn more about ourselves, to build trust and to have fun. Each Quest selects experienced facilitators that suit the needs of particular Quests and the programs are flexible so the unique strengths and experience of each facilitator is used to greatest effect. A wide range of exercises and techniques can be used.
It is vital for each participant in implementing their discoveries, to leave the Quest program with a practical well thought out action plan or project that reflect their core objectives and self-understanding. Having follow-up support and mentoring is a key part of this implementation.
A central belief in our approach is that each of us can discover much more about ourselves from our own inner resources with the right processes and support. We are then better able to answer such questions as: 'What are my real talents?', 'What do I really need and want in my life?' and "Who am I?' The big challenges are to engage in the process of self-discovery and then to apply what we find in our life so we can live a more satisfying and authentic life.
Yes Quest Promo DVD
An introduction video featuring Yes Quests held in the past is available on DVD. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will mail you a copy. Alternatively, a shorter edited version of the video is on YouTube. Check it out!