Despite our bleak time with isolation, many of our worse affected are the young people in our community. Therefore, today’s #LocalGoodnessYEG is dedicated to helping and supporting those youth!
These are the young people who are inherently the future of our community, and we can do many things to minimize the long term detrimental effects that this harsh time will cause. Indeed, Edmonton’s youth are a powerful force, and have been essential to many of the movements taking place in many of our city’s classrooms, including school walkouts, and even the protests against Alison Redford in 2013. More recently, young people have been devoting their time to helping us understand their importance in our community through climate justice activism and much more.
And since these students and young people are so invaluable, we, as supportive members of #LocalGoodnessYEG, want to make sure every young person has their needs met, so that they can be a successful and contributing member to community resilience and growth.
Here are some ways that you can spend your time, money, and voice to give back to the youth who have given us so much:
The current COVID crisis has certainly revealed some of the existing gaps in how we care for Edmonton’s youth. For instance, there is a digital divide between students who have to learn from home, with many of these not having internet or computer access. There are many children who are at risk of becoming detached from their society and their education because of barriers to access. Therefore, with your money, consider upgrading your own electronics and donating your old ones to local schools and other programs.
One such amazing project doing just that is C5, who work to see that electronics be distributed among low income families here in town. There are 150,000 children who are transitioning to online learning all around the city, so any little donation will make a significant change! We’ve also included a great list of other organizations in Edmonton where you can donate to help local youth below:
Beaver Hills Warriors (donations to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Young people in Edmonton are in some ways delaying the key social aspects of an enriched youth including sports, volunteering, or going to concerts or local get-togethers. They’re falling behind, and need your support!
Take some time today to remember how it was to be “that age”, and how it would have felt to suddenly be disconnected from friends and schoolmates for a long period of time. Reach out to anyone who may be feeling low during this isolated time, and make an effort to chat with them over FaceTime or over the phone. It’s easy to become detached in a digital society, so making sure to put a little “human” effort into your interactions will go a long way.
Don’t forget about mental health! Youth Mental Health Canada has many amazing resources that anyone can rely on if feeling stressed or overwhelmed at any given time. Alberta’s Native Counselling Services also offer great readable resources for youth and families here.
And if you are a parent, make sure to spend some time with your kids today talking about what’s going on. You can also act as their new educational guide, using your own isolation time to learn new skills together, and encouraging your kids to teach you something, too! Maybe they want to learn to code, or sing, or paint: just use the time to make sure they’re interacting with their environment in all the fun ways you remember from school.
Right now is the golden time to learn new skills and get closer to your kids!
With your voice today, make sure to amplify some of the youth organizations we’ve listed above, or promote at-home learning tools like Duolingo, Crash Course, or Khan Academy. Edmonton’s Telus World of Science also has some great resources for at-home experiments here.
Better yet, make sure to use your own resources to give your kids, or local neighbourhood youth opportunities to become involved in projects going on around the community. Youth and kids are eager to help, and any excuse to get them outside and using their minds will do them a ton of good! Even handing them a bowl full of chalk to write nice messages for neighbours will go a long way in helping them feel useful in this time.
Ultimately, we are encouraging you to get involved as much as possible to support Edmonton’s youth! During this unfortunate time of quarantine, it may affect their future as much (if not more) than ours, and with the help of everyone, we can minimize those long-term detrimental effects.
Don’t let this harsh time prevent Edmonton’s young people from discovering the greatness they were meant for!