Program generates waves for change

  • Jun. 11, 2004 3:00 p.m.

Submitted by Michael Sheely, Kerri Klein and Thomas Cheney–The calm pool of complacency is about to be roused and BC youth will be the ones to make waves. A new joint initiative of the Sierra Youth Coalition and the Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter called Making Waves: Youth for Change, will help youth develop and refine the skills and knowledge they need to bring social justice and environmental sustainability into their own hands.
In 2002, the United Nations Association of Canada released the results of youth survey called Mapping the Mind Maze. “Not knowing how to get involved”‘ was listed as the main barrier preventing youth participation in sustainable development. Despite this, 95-percent of respondents ranked youth as responsible for working to improve Canada’s progress towards sustainable development. Making Waves aims at addressing this gap by empowering youth to take action for environmental and social well being in their own communities.
A crucial component of Making Waves will be a weeklong gathering of 30 BC youth August 14 to 20, at Camp Jubilee outside of North Vancouver. A primary objective is to empower youth participants (ages 14-19) to develop action plans that will identify specific ways they can work towards solutions to current environmental and social problems and the prevention of new ones. Hands-on environmental projects, skills-building and training workshops, as well as awareness building, community support, and effective action planning will provide the young activists with the tools needed to create the change they wish to see in their own communities.
Guided by a steering committee of 6 youth from around the province, Making Waves will target issues most relevant to young people. Themes will include forests, food production, consumerism, environmental justice, biodiversity, sustainable living, climate change, and renewable energy.
Skills-building workshops will be presented on topics such as media and communications, developing an action group, facilitation, fundraising, community research, and developing an action plan.
The six day gathering will be accessible to a diverse population of BC youth from rural centres, isolated communities, and urban centres.
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