Let us not only leave a better world for our children,
but leave better children for our world.
Hi everyone my name is Shanta and I am the founder of the giving tree Unionville. We are a social justice group for youth that I started specifically to educate and help empower our children. My hope and desire is to help create amazing positive change makers.
Each year we choose several causes to champion.
One of the main initiatives that we are working on this year is to try and help bring positive change to our indigenous youth.
Not so long ago we read a story about the high rate of suicides and suicide attempts amongst the youth in Attawapiscat. This really touched the hearts of all of us at The Giving Tree and has inspired us to do everything we can to bring a little bit of hope to them.
We brainstormed amongst ourselves.
We educated ourselves.
We invited special speakers and programmers in to teach us about the history or our indigenous brothers and sisters.
Through this education we decided that we had to help provide the youth in these communities with the ability to stay self sufficient and self reliant. Their land is precious to them. They love where they live and they are proud of their culture. They want to continue living on their lands and growing their communities.
Unfortunately, deep poverty and domestic violence has pushed many indigenous youth towards a life of crime.
Our goal is to bring hope to many of them.
Our dream is to see every single indigenous youth educated.
So, this is what has inspired the initiative that I am about to share with you.
One of the industries of the future will continue to be computer coding.
Learning the art of computer coding is important for all of us moving forward. It will help provide many opportunities especially to those in the more remote areas.
It will provide them the freedom to make their own schedules. They will continue to have the ability to participate in their own cultural activities, but at the same time, provide them with the opportunities to be part of the greater workforce.
They will be able to earn a living and have a sense of self-reliance and empowerment.
It will help educate them to provide an income, and in turn they will be able to give back to their communities and help continue the positive cycles moving forward.
So how do we envision this initiative?
We are currently working with a wonderful team of people here in Canada. We are in the process of converting a 40 foot high cube container into a computer lab. It will be equipped with the very latest in technology. The lab will be fitted with an 80’ projector screen, projector and at least 10 computer stations to begin with. The lab will be a beautiful environment, welcoming, warm, safe, exciting. It will be a place of hope and inspiration. The lab itself will be as self reliant as possible. It will be equipped with a diesel generator as well as solar panels. We are hoping to work with well renowned and experienced experts in the field of technology who will dedicate a little bit of their time each day into educating the students via internet conferencing. They will be taught all the tools necessary to enable them to participate in the workforce. The idea would be that upon graduation, these large organizations would be able to provide them with employment. There are many job opportunities for those with computer coding skills that allow them to work remotely.
Thunder Coders is the name that we have given to this initiative. The images that are conjured up when we think of this word - thunder - are visions of strength and empowerment and hope and promise and this is the vision that we have for all our students that will pass through these doors.
Our first project intends only to be a pilot, after which we hope the success of it will lead to numerous additional computer coding labs popping up throughout our indigenous lands.
So I reach out to you today, to search deep into that beautiful heart of yours to help support us, in one way or another. The cost of the entire project is in the region of about $80,000.
In addition to funding, we are looking for volunteers in the tech sector to help make this school a reality. So, if you do know somebody passionate about giving in this field, or if you would like to help contribute towards the cost of the lab, we would be so grateful. No amount is too small. No offer of time is too little. If we all just play a small little part in giving back to society in one way or another - and not necessarily through funding – but through personal expertise and time as well, it will help to make this world a slightly better place.
My motto is not to leave a better world for our children, but to leave better children for this world.