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Feature

Takes a Village

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 29 Sep, 2022
  • Takes a Village

Kids Play Youth Foundation is a registered charity which began in early 2015. Its inception and subsequent ratification was done by veteran officer, Kal Dosanjh. The organization operates programs in BC, AB, ON and internationally in Colombia and Punjab, India. KidsPlay has six streams: Sports, Mentorship, Education, Mental Health/Counselling, Community Engagement, and Environment - which are contributing factors towards reducing youth crime by giving young people a positive identity, feelings of empowerment and by helping youth acquire leadership, teamwork, and self-governance skills under adult supervision.

The sports component encompasses all sports run by the organization and in partnership with large scale sports organizations. The education component comprises educational presentations on issues affecting the community - presentations on bullying, racism, women’s empowerment, and drug and gang abuse. Mentorship component comprises the afterschool programs run by KidsPlay in schools with the Surrey, Abbotsford and Langley schools. The Environment portfolio consists of building programs with an emphasis on sustainability through the Adopt a Street program with the City of Surrey, tree planting initiatives and Recycle for KIDS program. Our Community Engagement programs equip volunteers with a toolkit to learn how to navigate in various situations - this is done through a community patrol program. The Mental Health portfolio is run by clinical counsellors and a registered nurse - running one on one sessions, group therapy and the Art Therapy program. All programs are intertwined as a means to a holistic approach run voluntarily by youth led teams.

We advance dialogue and support initiatives that address critical issues that have been highlighted in the recent years. Our communities have faced endless amounts of obstacles in the last few years and given the current pandemic, it has been difficult for organizations such as ourselves to support these vulnerable populations. We want youth to understand that the challenges and obstacles they are facing can be overcome with the right guidance and mentorship. Not too long ago, a young fourteen year old lost his life due to the ongoing gang violence. Who failed him? Who do we point the fingers at? We, as a community, need to recognize the importance of working together at all fronts to avoid such tragedies from happening. It is easy to create an unjust narrative, but that is not the solution.

No one organization or agency has all the  solutions to this ongoing epidemic, but together, we can bring in all resources, and do our best to avoid another child falling victim to such a lifestyle. With our projects, we aim to provide a positive outlet for our youth. We want to show them how those with similar upbringings, faiths, backgrounds, who have overcome similar struggles are now living honourable lives. There is a way out – we want to be that way out for these youth. Stanley Price is a founding member of one of the deadliest gangs originating in Vancouver, BC, Red Alert, who has now turned his life around after having his own son fall victim to that lifestyle. You can read more about Stan and the team at kidsplayfoundation.com. 

Kids Play Foundation leads by example giving thousands of young kids a safe place to belong. Many of our youth are at the verge of falling victim to a life of crime, a key factor being the need to belong. KidsPlay Foundation has brought together youth from all walks of life. We recognize the team of volunteers serving the community - who make positive contributions, building trust in the community, and encouraging more youth to get involved in acts of volunteerism. We ask all to join us in combating issues affecting the community. 

KidsPlay ran successful summer camps for over 300 youth in Surrey and Abbotsford. These camps were provided at no change to youth. It takes a village to raise a child, we are that village. 

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