Young Winnipeggers gave our city a C grade when it comes to Youth Voice in the recently-released Youth Vital Signs (YVS) report.
That’s why this year’s Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) conference is giving young people a chance to make their voices heard and generate ideas on improving Winnipeg.
More than 350 high school students from 28 schools and community agencies gather today for the 12th annual YiP conference, themed around Youth Vital Signs. Students will attend sessions based on topics deemed most pressing in our city, while learning about the importance of philanthropy.
During the conference, youth are encouraged to share via social media, opinions and suggestions on how the city can be improved in a variety of areas including poverty, housing and homelessness, safety, employment, transportation, and education.
“We’re giving young people the chance to present ideas on how they’d like to see Winnipeg grow and develop,” says Tolu Ilelaboye, Youth Engagement Coordinator, The Winnipeg Foundation.
“These young people are starting to think about what they’re going to do following graduation; we want to know what will keep them in our city.”
More than 1,800 young people aged 14-29 graded Winnipeg in The Winnipeg Foundation’s YVS survey, released in early October. They gave our city a passing grade but say there’s much room to improve their quality of life. Many were unsure whether Winnipeg is the place where they want to stay.
“The Youth Vital Signs survey gave us a glimpse into what is important to young Winnipeggers,” says Rick Frost, CEO, The Winnipeg Foundation. “Now it’s time to delve further into the issues by convening young people.”
A Forum on Youth Issues with mayoral candidates was held in mid-October to begin the conversation. This conference is a next step in generating feedback, with additional activities being planned for a later date early in 2015.
Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) is a program of The Winnipeg Foundation designed to introduce motivated young people to philanthropy and local community development. The program gives high school students hands-on experience working as a team to make grants to local charitable organizations.
More than 30 speakers will make a variety of presentations during the annual YiP conference, including keynote Muuxi Adam. Adam is a Somalian refugee and humanitarian who came to Canada at the age of 16. Since then he has dedicated his time, resources, experience and knowledge to helping refugees and newcomers locally and abroad.
Locally he has worked with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba and Aurora Family Therapy Centre and served on the board of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council, among others. In 2008, Adam founded Humankind International, which serves communities in Northern Kenya and Southern Somalia. He was recently named the 2014 Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year.