Caption: Minister Taylor joins members of the Vanier Social Justice Club. The group was invited to attend We Day events in Vancouver, organized by the international non-governmental organization Free The Children.v
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WHITEHORSE—Students from two Whitehorse schools had the opportunity to attend a three-day trip to Vancouver to participate in We Day. A Canada-wide gathering of youth who are taking action on social justice issues in their communities and around the world, We Day is organized by the international non-governmental organization Free the Children.
Thirteen students and two teachers from the F.H. Collins Social Justice Club and 12 students and two teachers from the Vanier Social Justice Club traveled to participate in We Day, at the invitation of Free the Children. The youth earned their places at We Day by showing leadership and community spirit while engaged in a local and a global year-long social justice project.
“These students set excellent examples for their peers as they take action on important social justice issues, both in Yukon communities and on a global scale,” Minister of Education Elaine Taylor said. “We Day is a unique way to recognize and honour students for their commitment and passion for social change.”
The gathering of like-minded students at the We Day event provided them an opportunity to share inspiration from the projects they had taken on for the year. It was also a celebration of how action, as a cross-Canada student community, makes a difference to locally and globally.
While in Vancouver, the students from F.H. Collins Secondary School had the opportunity to explore the city as well as meet and connect with peers at an urban high school in North Vancouver.
This year, the F.H. Collins Social Justice Club international projects included: supporting Little Footprints, Big Steps (an NGO for Haiti started by a graduate of F.H. Collins); aiding school children in Uganda; and helping a family with their chicken farm.
Their local projects included: making sandwiches for Many Rivers’ Outreach Van; participating in the All Schools Food Drive for the Whitehorse Food Bank; events with Blood Ties Four Directions; events with the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition; and sponsoring a hair stylist for Whitehorse Connects.
While in Vancouver, the Vanier Catholic Secondary School students toured the Downtown East Side, learned about fair trade and volunteered at the Quest Food Exchange–an organization that redistributes surplus from local supermarkets to those in need.
The Vanier Social Justice Club’s projects included a solidarity sleepover for the kidnapped Nigerian girls and donating to the Because I am a Girl campaign. They also supported the Many Rivers’ Outreach Van, furniture and school supplies for Kaushee’s Place and made meals at the soup kitchen.
The clubs also work with their peers on issues like bullying, poverty, food and water security, environment and human rights.
Free the Children