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About Young Life


Young Life is the organisational name for groups of adults from different communities and backgrounds coming together with the expressed purpose of bettering the lives of teenagers. We help youth discover and develop life skills, equipping them to face challenges with confidence, deal positively with pressure, bounce back from disappointments and adversity, achieve realistic goals and treat themselves and others with respect.

Mark and Lera Hamilton are the founders of Young Life in Belarus. They pioneered Young Life in Minsk on September 8, 2001 when Young Life Australia commissioned them to establish a work to help teenagers.

Since then locals have expanded the work to 4 of the 6 Belarusian States. Young Life is now in Minsk, Mogilev, Vitebsk & Brest states. There are 4 staff and 42 volunteers.

Having successfully built an indigenous model of the work which is maintained and grown through locals, Mark & Lera pioneered Young Life in the Baltic countries in October 2008.


Why Young Life?

It is easy to go into any youth culture with a prefab program and forget one of the most crucial fundamentals, 'are we won the respect of these teenagers for them to want to listen to us'? All sections of society are telling young people what to do and how to do it, but few are listening to them, to their needs. By connecting young people with adults, we offer positive role models in a safe environment. The Young Life leader develops friendship, trust and a listening ear.

Young Life has some significant programs which impact today's young person, however the greatest asset is the Young Life leader, who goes to where kids are, and in doing so say, 'your important'. It is only through going to where kids are and investing in their lives that a Young Life leader earns the right to be heard. Once a Young Life leaders earns this right, will youth listen to their adult friends who have a wealth of experience and wisdom to share.


The Mission of Young Life

Young Life is a group of Christian adults from a broad diversity of church traditions, committed to the purpose of communicating to young people, in simple and understandable terms, who Jesus Christ is and his relevance to their lives. Our focus is on the disinterested and unchurched young people of our community. Young Life seeks to carry out its purpose through the building of personal relationships between Christ-centred adults and young people. As we enter the world of youth we share our lives and common experiences, and Jesus becomes real to them.

In dealing with real people in real situations we look to not only better the person, but also bring justice to unjust situations. Our Humanitarian program, "Young Hope" brings tangible aid, such as food and clothing, and practical support, such as work shops.

By connecting youth with young adults offering positive models in a safe environment as well as meeting physical needs, Young Life builds resilience for Life, hope and freedom.