We have some extremely epic news to share! In celebration of Black History Month, we are officially launching our Be Boundless Campaign, an International Youth Exchange Program. The 2019 campaign will send a group of youth to Ghana for the ‘Year of the Return’ marking the 400 year anniversary since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619.
Eight youth will be carefully selected to attend the 15 day exchange to Ghana and Benin. On the trip, the group will actively engage in various experiences that will help them develop a broader perspective on global issues and a deeper understanding of global citizenship.
The idea for this exchange stemmed from the desire for greater and more ambitious youth development initiatives on the club level. This type of experience can break geographic boundaries and give youth a greater perspective on how their peers live, study and deal with similar issues, whether in Accra, Ghana or Scarborough.
Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Scarborough, Utcha Sawyers shared some amazing information about the selection process as well as an overview of the trip itself.
The staff of the club will be conducting a selection process based on youth they have worked alongside for quite some time between the ages of 16 to 24. They want to ensure they are taking youth who are committed to community and believe in the evolution of social justice. Once the group of youth have been selected, the candidates will be asked to submit an essay outlining why they feel like they should be sent to Ghana and what they intend to take from the experience.
The trip will be jam packed with incredible opportunities and experiences. It will include exchanging information and attending workshops with youth from approximately 41 Boys and Girls Clubs within Ghana, touring the cities around Accra – including various historical slave ports. They will also attend a renewable sustainability centre in the Songhai Empire (www.songhai.org) which is a youth led enterprise. They will discover the effectiveness of vegetation in connection to making products that are shipped internationally. Finally, they will attend a youth arts school in Nkonya, Ghana where they will engage with the youth in that particular school and uncover various traditional art skills including carving and weaving cloths.
Utcha emphasized that it is essential that we give youth an opportunity that will change their lives.
She further elaborated, “It is important that the youth who are selected are impacted by the experience and pay it forward.”
The Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough believes that local stewardship is a fundamental skill of leading the youth of tomorrow onto a brighter path. This experience will nurture their capacity to understand social activism on a global scale so they can implement those values within their own communities.
Visit www.boundless.esbgc.net to learn more about this life changing initiative and to show your support.