Thursday, April 8, 2010

Youth Can

As I dig deeper for opportunities for my children to expand their understanding of world issues, I am frankly blown away by the heroes that are all around us.

Last month I took Ryan to a program at a nearby high school. Michel Chikwanine, from Me to We, was speaking to the entire student population on their Youth Activism Day.  Students in the school, had organized a full day of programming which included not only the key speaker, but also workshops about volunteering, activism, youth engagement and world issues. The organizations involved ran the gamut from Amnesty International and Oxfam to Right to Play and to  Kiva loans and Katimavik and included workshops on song writing, journalism and social media to African drumming.

The initiative was student led and the school seemed to be a hotbed of social activism and youth engagement. Nishin Nathwani, another young man we've seen speak recently and his contemporaries were the organizing team and they had been congratulated by numerous adult activists, politicians and organizations for their efforts to make activism accessible and integrated into their school culture.

Michel's presentation was both funny and sad.  A former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo he talked about his journey to Canada and his life here, his father and his activism. 

I sat in this school auditorium thinking back to my high school days and how unaware I was compared to the young people around me and how fascinating this group of kids are.

Me to We

Please note Michel's video is for older children. Please preview before deciding whether to share with your children.

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