The below profiles are suggested organizations which could offer exceptional youth engagement opportunities within our schools. There are campaign opportunities that can be customized for various times of the year and the groups who are participating. These organizations demonstrate development models and social justice practices, which place the dignity of those they serve at the forefront of their work. The work is in partnership with the community and allows students to build an understanding of and relationship with the cause they are championing.
Development and Peace
Development and Peace offers educational resources and modules, which are ideal for youth engagement and exploring the topic of social justice in a faith based context. They work primarily in the Global South to change unjust social, political and economic structures, which perpetuate cycles of poverty. This approach highlights our impact on the global community, helping us to understand our role as global citizens. Their work also extends to advocacy on behalf of our indigenous communities and care for our common home. They offer campaigns and resources tailor made for Catholic schools.
War Child Canada
War Child Canada is a reliable organization that works primarily in areas of conflict with those most in need of immediate aid. The philosophy behind their work is that where childhood flourishes, war does not. Their mission is to work with war-affected communities to help children reclaim their childhood through access to education, opportunity and justice. The founder is Canadian born, Dr. Samantha Nutt. Their approach to development is similar to Development and Peace where the goal is sustainable development and capacity building that is locally driven. They offer those who are interested a fundraising tool kit and work with school communities to build holiday campaigns.
The Working Centre
The Working Centre is an excellent example of a grass roots organization, which has grown in direct response to the needs of its community. Their work is rooted in the Catholic Social Teachings and demonstrates a successful social justice model locally. The Centre offers learning opportunities for both students and teachers in touring their projects in downtown Kitchener and building relationships with frontline workers. School groups can raise money for a specific project such as St. John’s Kitchen, affordable housing, community tool projects or simply where it is needed most. This organization would be happy to work with school communities in creating an engaging campaign for youth that also meets the needs of those they serve.
The Good Shepherd
The Brothers of the Good Shepherd provide reliable, local, community based development and support. Their work is grounded in the Catholic Social Teachings and follows the example of St. John of God. They work diligently to provide both immediate crisis supports to those in need such as shelters and meal programs, as well as long-term sustainable development programs that help promote change and transformation. The Good Shepherd would also be good option for students to build a relationship with frontline workers and better understand how the organization serves those who are most marginalized by poverty here at home. Schools can sponsor a Good Shepherd Family. Donations are based on the needs of the families and can be something that is adapted from the traditional shoebox model. These donations will serve families from the Family Centre as well as Women’s and Youth Services, who have found themselves in unexpected crisis.