Richmond youth committed to changing the world, one cleanup at a time

A global program that empowers youth to contribute to building a better world was at this year’s Community In Motion event on Saturday at Garry Point Park.

“The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program engages youth ages 11 to 14 years to develop their capacities to be of service to their communities,” said Saba Changizi, one of the program coordinators in Richmond.

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“The program began in Colombia, South America as a literacy program and has grown into a global program empowering youth everywhere to be agents of change in their communities.

“Each week, with older youth mentors, groups of 10 or so junior youth meet for a few hours. They read stories that help them make positive decisions by exploring concepts such as honesty, kindness, and justice.”

After showcasing what they have to offer at Saturday’s event, the 40-strong group returned to the beach park on Sunday to execute a shoreline cleanup, followed by a picnic.

“The program helps the junior youth develop their powers of expression and comprehension and their critical thinking skills,” added Changizi.

“Service is also a large part of the program and the junior youth plan and implement service projects based on the needs they see in the community.”

For example, one service project was a recycling education program for a housing complex in Richmond, another was a car wash raising money for the BC Children’s Hospital.

For more information on the program, go to junioryouth.ca/richmond

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