Today I spent lunch hour with Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School's Grade 9 Global Studies class. They were awesome; a very engaged and curious group. They gave me a cheque for Child Soldiers Initiative, one of the two NGOs supported by The HEAL Project. The kids were extremely proud and excited about their incredible accomplishment. They also took turns telling me about facts they had researched and their continued work to build awareness and end the use of child soldiers around the world. Thank you very much GS9. You rock!
A special thanks goes out to a unique class at Carihi High in Campbell River, BC. The course is called "Peer Support." It focuses on the philosophy of service to others instead of leadership and fundraising. I love this idea. I was invited to speak at the overnight retreat they had in Oyster Bay, British Columbia. I spoke, discussed and answered questions for about 2-3 hours. What I didn't know is that the class had already been at work raising money for The HEAL Project. More importantly though, these bright students were grasping the concept of ending the use of child soldiers through everyday actions and by cultivating empathetic relationships with each other. It was an honour to spend time with this group and connect in a giant Hugpile too! $80 will be donated to War Child Canada.
The HEAL Project instead of gifts. The 35 friends that joined her for a rowdy night of good times raised $230 and shared in the amazing feeling of directing positive change on a global scale.Sara Schouten, a grade 12 student, decided she had enough stuff in her life a week before her birthday. Her forward thinking produced the best, most rewarding birthday she’s ever had. Sara decided to throw a party and ask for donations to
On December 2nd we visited Sara at her school to ask her a few questions and reconnect with a few of her close friends. Here’s what she had to say in a very quick Q&A over lunch hour.
Sara and $220 in Birthday cash
ChildSoldier.ca: What motivated you to raise money for The HEAL Project?
Sara: Um, I feel like I have too much stuff. I’ve always felt like that – and I really don’t need anything else. My needs are all fulfilled so why not help someone else fill theirs?
ChildSoldier.ca: How many people ended up coming to your party?
ChildSoldier.ca: Was it fun?
Sara: Ya – everybody had a great time and I asked them to bring money instead of a gift. And they said ‘really?’ I said ‘ya that would make me happy.’
ChildSoldier.ca: Why did you choose the issue of child soldiers and The HEAL Project to support?
Sara: Well in English class we read a book called Oryx and Crake (Margret Atwood) and there was a lot of human trafficking going on in the story. Very explicit. And it got me thinking about how terrible it is. I don’t want these issues to happen and The HEAL Project is a reliable place to give the money.
ChildSoldier.ca: How does it feel to have raised this money?
Sara: It feels GREAT! I can’t wait to do it again. I posted pictures on Facebook and people are like, ‘wow that looks like so much fun. Can you have another one?’ And I’m like, ‘ya, I could totally do this again.’ I want to do it again. I want to do something else like this again. It’s good.
ChildSoldier.ca: Did you have a Hug Pile?
Sara: Oh yeah we did but we didn’t take a picture. We’re big huggers.
ChildSoldier.ca: Do you have a message or advice for people that may want to do something similar to what you just did?
Sara: It’s so much easier than you think it is. At first it takes a lot of your own initiative because other people don’t expect you to be so altruistic. It took a while for people to understand that I really didn’t want anything (gifts) and for people that want to try doing this – just do it. It’s fun and if you’re enthusiastic than other people will be too.
Photos and interview by: Zac Whyte