“Help Reduce Poverty in Paradise,” is a campaign that was birthed by five 14-year-old males in Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy programme. Over the past month and a half this group of young men have been engaged in ongoing discussions about Poverty, its impacts, and brainstorming ways how they can be agents of change within the community. It was quite evident the young men were passionate about this topic, as they came to every session ready to take the conversation to the next level. And, just like many others, their initial thoughts of poverty only surrounded individuals that experience homelessness. However, when it was shared that 23% of Bermuda’s population lives in poverty, it was a real eye-opener. The young men immediately began to ask questions like, “How is this possible, in an island that is known to be one of the wealthiest around the world? How can this be happening in our island home, and we as people are so blind to it?” After being introduced to the different types of poverty, they not only began to understand the broader context of the topic, but they shared moments where relative poverty has shown up in their personal lives. Sharing memories of seeing their parents stressed about finances, overhearing them making decisions on which bill was most important to pay, being told they cannot participate in an enrichment programme/activity because of a lack of finances, and most heart wrenching, having to be separated from family because a parent is unemployed or underemployed. Recognizing how poverty has shown up in their lives, the next step was to witness the poverty that exists in the community around them.
Replaying their personal experiences and the extreme poverty of others, the group knew something needed to be done. These young men believe that in order for real change to occur, key stakeholders, decision makers, and those with access to unlimited resources must be a part of the process. They believe there is no way people should feel they are alone, must suffer in silence, feel unsupported or invisible, because of life circumstances. Gandhi’s famous quote really resonated with us: “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Will you help these amazing, thoughtful, community-minded young men make our island, our home, Bermuda truly wealthy? Please consider donating to their campaign, “Help Reduce Poverty in Paradise.” Your donation can be the determining factor of a family having proper shelter or food at night.
Donate using the form below – all proceeds will be equally distributed between the following three organisations:
- Salvation Army Community Services
- Eliza DoLittle Society
- Loads of Love
UPDATE: The “Help Reduce Poverty in Paradise” 2021 campaign is now closed.
Thank you to everyone who donated to make this campaign so successful! Thanks to you, our young men presented the funds raised to Salvation Army, The Eliza DoLittle Society, and Loads of Love in December 2021. Check out Bernews and The Royal Gazette to learn more.
If you would like to support Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy, which is a non-profit programme provided at no cost to youth and their families, please visit https://www.tfc.bm/donate-now. You can specify your donation to go towards YLA in the comments.
Youth Leadership Academy Summer Community Projects
Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy’s Discussion with Community Officials took place on Wednesday, August 18th at 3pm via Facebook Live. Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is a 5-year, 3-phase programme that aims to help and support young people to reach their full potential. Through exposure to opportunities, the young people learn that leadership is not just a position, it is taking action. Along this journey they learn the importance of their voice and that they must initiate the actions that will bring about the change they seek.
Over the past six weeks, our newest cohort of YLA youth have been engaged in small group discussions surrounding three important community issues: Social Justice, Racism, and Poverty. During this time, the young people expanded their existing knowledge, discussed the impacts these issues have on our community, and showed their deeper connection by sharing some of their personal experiences as it pertained to their group’s topic. Youth were then challenged to create a project that brings awareness to the topic, initiating conversations such as this to take place to affect a greater change to occur.
We encourage you to tune in and listen to the voices of our younger generation, the future leaders of our country. Come with an open mind and heart to understand our island home through the lens of our youth. Be prepared to be impressed by how passionate the young people are to make a difference in our community!