Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Comida for Casa a success!

The South Leadership Program is pleased to announce that this year’s international fundraiser on February 19th 2011, Comida for Casa, was a great success with 29 participants raising over $2000!

Leadership participants fasted for 24 hours to raise money and awareness for the YMCA Casa Program in Mexico. As the Leaders discovered in the weeks before the famine, the situation in Mexico’s northern border is in a state of crisis with drugs, police corruption and social issues that come along with constant migration of people including many vulnerable youth. The leadership participants related to these young people and the dangerous struggle many of them feel they need to undertake in order to provide for themselves and their families. The Leaders learned about the role Casa YMCA’s have and the services they provide to youth just like them!
The Leaders began their famine at 10:00am on Saturday, February 19th and came to the YMCA South Branch for a night of activities! They started their evening out with a presentation by Mary Moore, Youth Program Coordinator and past Mano a Mano Youth Summit participant. To many, the presentation brought to light the issues that are often left out of the commercial image of Mexico. As Katie Clark, LIT and Comida for Casa participant, reflected "after seeing the presentation, I was surprised by the living conditions- when you think of Mexico, you think of a tourist resort. I didn't really know how poor some of the living conditions were and was surprised by the fact that they have so much military around." The presentation also explained the struggle of the average migrant: "One part of the presentation that surprised me was how lots of things that happened to these people would be a horrifying experience for us, but are daily life for them" stated Drew Register, Leader.

Upon completion of the presentation, the youth played gym games and a variation of the game “Quest” wherein participants were given the status of either “migrant” or “settled” and were tasked with acquiring resources in order to cross the border. Advisors were challenges to migration and would complicate or make the journey to cross even more frustrating. Drew Register noted that Quest “was added perspective to the conditions in Mexico and the struggle of people trying to attain resources." After a debrief of the game, participants made post card art for the youth who use Casa followed by some free time with board games, vids, and even piñatas! Finally, the participants settled in for the night to get some much needed rest for the pancake breakfast in the morning.

The Comida for Casa group broke their fast at 10:00am on Sunday, February 20th in the company of many members and family who had come to share in the festivities of the Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast fundraised over $200, making the total money raised $2200 for Casa YMCAs!

"The CASA YMCAs will really appreciate this money. With all of the gang violence in Mexico, people need CASA more than ever" said Riley Proulx.

This Comida for Casa and the pancake breakfast would not have been possible without the support of all donors, families and the driving force behind the event: the South Branch Leadership Program participants AND advisors! A special thanks to the South Child Care centre for their gracious donation of space, the South maintenance crew who demonstrated great patience in cleaning around us, and all the staff, volunteers and families who helped with pancake duty!
Submitted by Mary Moore
South Y Youth Program Coordinator
Member, International Working Group

No comments:

Post a Comment