“They know that we’ve done amazing things globally but now we want to kind of turn it back to locally and do a little bit more things for our community,” said Mike Gibson, We Day and We Create Change co-ordinator and teacher at KAHS.
After the presentation, a workshop was held for 25 students to discuss local initiatives to help out the community. “This was kids from the We Create Change group but we have so many of them, we had to limit it to 25,” he added.
During the workshop, Gibson noted, the students introduced themselves and were asked what makes them smile and what they are passionate about. “They were all enthused and they were all chomping on the bit,” he said.
Gibson said KAHS has already started their next Free the Children We Create Change project — a year of empowerment.
“Last year, we did the year of education. This year, we are trying to help people across the ocean with sustainability. This year, Free the Children has gone with the purchasing a goat. That is what our school is throwing our support behind but again, that’s our global cause but these kids have a lot of local causes they want to do,” said Gibson.
“Kids for Christmas that don’t have presents and clothes. I’ve got a girl that is really enthused with doing that. Anti-bullying I heard. Gender equality I heard. Some pretty neat things coming out of the workshop,” said Gibson, adding last year KAHS partnered with Dorothy Dalgliesh School in Picture Butte and students attended the workshop from the school.
Two presenters from Free the Children were on hand to facilitate the workshop.
Gibson added the presenters are passionate and their passions passed along to the students.
“We were so lucky to have it come to Kate Andrews,” said Gibson.
Zoey Roelofsen, a Grade 10 student was one of the students in attendance at the workshop.
Her passions include giving children a future and getting kids out of poverty and giving kids an education. “I just want to focus this year on all the children that go without eating every day and the kids that don’t have anything and don’t get to go to school every day. Just to try and give them a future and try to help them rebuild and give them an opportunity to do something in this world. We’ve been doing that by raising money with bake sales — the We Bake — and food drives sent out locally to people that are in poverty locally,” said Roelofsen. Two other Grade 11 students, Keleeja Peters and Carmen Nadeau, both want to help families locally this Christmas.
“We wanted to help out people locally this year. We decided we were going to start hampers. Collecting old clothes and donations and toys for people over the Christmas holidays that don’t get a chance to get that,” said Nadeau.
“Also, to get money raised that we can buy the gifts for all the children and the families and everything. We were hoping to adopt maybe three or four families and hopefully just get enough stuff donated in order to give them a Christmas this year,” added Peters.