“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
Purpose, according to the dictionary is, “an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions.” The idea of what our purpose in life is, is something most of us struggle to identify. Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist, lived a life of purpose. He fought his whole life so his people could be seen as equal in their own land.
As of November 18, 2018, Toronto has experienced 91 homicide cases in this calendar year. Most of the cases are as a result of gang violence amongst Toronto’s youth. Many youth, especially in marginalized and under-resourced neighborhoods, do not have a positive support network. In high-risk communities, gang culture is prevalent. Most youth who become affiliated with gangs lack positive supports from parents, schools, peers, and community (National Gang Center, 2012). As a result, youth find a sense of community through involvement with a gang. The gang members empower these youth by providing them with a false sense of safety, family, support and connection. Youth who are missing strong advocates, leadership, allies, and support, have a limited view of the world which is strongly influenced by their immediately environment.
To help these youth, we first have to recognize them as part of the community, and acknowledge that we all succeed when they succeed. Together we can empower youth by supporting their dreams, and by removing barriers to education, sports, entertainment or business. More investment is needed to build programs and community centers for youth. We also have to publicly recognize youth who are trying to make a positive impact in their community so the upcoming generation knows who to look up to.
Yorktown Family Services believes in our youth and as such, our approach includes ensuring that children at risk receive the care and support they need, and that disadvantaged children receive additional supports to enable them to achieve equitable outcomes. We offer a lot of programs for youth to volunteer or partake in. Programs are free of charge and can to help them discover their purpose and include:
- Life Skills Youth Coach: Choices Program
- Youth Mentorship Program
- Youth Development Program
We also offer free services for youth struggling to find their path or are in need of support to establish their vision in life. Some of the service we offer are:
- Counselling: What’s up walk-in and Ongoing Counseling Service
- Youth Outreach Worker Program
- Community Healing Project (Coming soon!)
- Shelter and Violence Against Women programs and services for girls and women