Fun + Friends + The Great Outdoors + Leadership Training = AWESOME
High school students can get help from tutors every Thursday
Male youth gather weekly for basketball and on occasion for #RealTalks
Bringing the East-African community together every chance we get
A safe space where female youth build strong positive relationships
Mental health promotion is part of everything we do. Find out why.
SUMMER LEADERSHIP CAMP
Every year, YD runs a Summer Leadership Camp where youth have an opportunity to get out of the city for a week to discuss issues that are important to them, gain leadership skills, and create lasting friendships, all at no cost to the youth. Our camps include guest speakers, group discussions, presentations, outdoor activities, group competitions and sports.
SUMMER CAMP 2015
The 9th annual YD Summer Leadership Camp was a 4 day-long tent camping
experience for 60 youth and 20 leaders. The theme, "Breaking Barriers," was chosen by our youth planning committee, creating a focus around challenging themselves and their peers to "think outside the box." Our guest speakers focused on our theme, Samra Zeweldi carried out a mental health workshop, Elsabet Wubie shared her life journey and how she overcome many obstacles in a motivational workshop, and Amanuel Teferi discussed police brutality within the Black community. Special thanks to all of our volunteer leaders and youth planning committee that made camp possible with their passion and positive attitude.
As YD's newest endeavour, The Brotherhood is still in the process of defining itself. A few things are settled for sure: there is a group of young leaders committed to establishing safe and supportive spaces for male youth in the East-African community, relationships are being built, real talks are happening, and there is always basketball. Lots of basketball.
YD runs a drop-in basketball program every Saturday afternoon. It gives youth an opportunity to build relationships within the community and get in a good amount of physical activity with a healthy dose of competition. The Brotherhood took these basketball games to a whole new level with an impressive 3-day tournament during March Madness this year. We'll definitely be seeing more of this to come.
The Sisterhood is a project that was brought to life by a group of young, dedicated YD leaders who gather female youth in the East-African community together every month to build friendships that last. Supportive peers, passionate mentors, hard conversations, and fun times... It's a real Sisterhood.
The Sisterhood held its first meeting at Keffa Cafe. This meeting was an open discussion facilitated by leaders with guiding questions to find what the young women believed should be discussed in this safe space. The following subjects continuously came up in conversation and have become the themes for Sisterhood events: Friendship, Healthy romantic relationships, Body Image and Sexual Health.
Every Thursday, YD provides a safe and inclusive space where high school students can bring their homework and get help from tutors in university/college. We also take this mentorship further by running workshops that facilitate the transition to post-secondary education, providing assistance with school applications, and hosting career meet n' greet events to help youth build their professional networks.
With tutoring sessions running every Thursday throughout the school year, high school students can regularly find the help they need at YD. Filling up the YD office, youth receive assistance with their homework and test preparation from university and college students that volunteer their time. Having role models within our very own community is an amazing thing.
YD offers a range of arts programming and events that allow youth to explore and express their creative side. This includes film training, photography workshops, and painting sesions. Sometimes youth just want to have fun, and so YD organises social events that get the community together, like skating excursions, bbq's, jam sessions and talent shows. You can stay tuned here.
Throughout the year, Young Diplomats hosts many social events. Underground Expressions (formerly known as Basement Jam) is a popular annual event where youth are invited to kick back and enjoy performances by the incredible young talent in our very own community. Generally singing and spoken word fill up the performance list however in the 2015 Basement Jam YD was shocked to be introduced to a talented magician.
In a nutshell, our community’s issue is the lack of spaces that promote mental health and wellness for East- African youth, in comparison to the time and effort being spent responding to mental illness and stigma. It’s time to move upstream on this topic.
Here at YD we take action on this issue by creating spaces and launching programming that promotes mental health and wellbeing by enhancing the protective factors that are within YD’s sphere of influence. These protective factors include having strong social skills, feeling a sense of belonging, and being proud of one’s cultural identity.
YD hosts workshops, discussions, art shows, and more on issues that affect youth in our community. These issues have ranged from substance abuse to relationships to racism. All of which are factors that impact mental health.
Everything we do at YD is done with this in mind, thank to the funding and support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.