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youth

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What are the Issues that Matter to Youth in Toronto?

Group photo from the Seeds of Change Youth Summit in April 2017

What are the issues that matter to youth in Toronto? From the fall of 2016 to the summer of 2017, NYCH implemented the Seeds of Change project to find out exactly that. 

Through the innovative use of participatory action research (PAR), the project aimed to increase the number of newcomer and low-income youth who are meaningfully engaged in their community.

The resulting report offers a thorough look at the project – and shares the questions, concerns and ideas of the youth involved.

promotional card for the Seeds of Change report

This is their voice. It is a rallying cry for young people to connect with their peers, mobilize, and take collective action to overcome the challenges they face.

Read the full report here: www.nych.ca/seeds-of-change  

The Seeds of Change project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation


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Digital Storytelling with the NOISE Project

In August 2016, we worked with youth from the NOISE Project and supported them in developing single-photo Digital Stories about the issues that matter to them. Youth participants wrote, crafted and edited their stories with the intention of speaking their truth, and finding common ground with those who may watch their videos.

For over six years, we have been using Digital Storytelling as a tool to engage the community in a meaningful way. The process involves storytelling circles, script-writing, story-boarding, taking photographs and finding imagery, recording narration, using video editing tools, and screening the final videos.

But creating a Digital Story is more than just making a video - it is the opportunity to tell your unique story, in your own words. The result is often very cathartic, and can help individuals deal with a wide range of experiences, from depression, to life in a refugee camp, to growing up LGBTQ. Sharing these stories can bring these issues to light, and establishes touch points that can connect community members with one another.

The New Opportunities for Innovative Student Engagement (NOISE) project is "a research-informed model for enhancing the academic success of youth from the Jane/Finch community and York University Social Work students through engaged learning opportunities that energize and support their civic engagement and psycho-social well-being."

Working with the NOISE project provided a great opportunity to expand the scope of output from our Digital Storytelling process. The youth storytellers covered a wide range of topics - from finding inspiration, to playing basketball, to joining the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ultimately, it is our hope that these stories impact and change how youth issues are discussed. Watch them below: 

Watch more of our Digital Stories on our Youtube channel.


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Youth Teach Computer Skills to Seniors

by Shova Adhikari, Outreach Coordinator, Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers

NYCH’s Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers (NCSC) program offered computer classes at Albion Library this past August. The program was organized in partnership with Albion Library and Youth Empowering Parents (YEP).  Seven youth were recruited by YEP and Pathways to Education, and trained by both YEP and NCSC. They were then matched with senior caregivers to provide fun and friendly one-on-one support around the use of computers and technology. 

Some of the seniors said this was the first time they had learned keyboarding and computer skills. One participant, Punam Bhai, expressed that he initially thought that the computer was beyond his capacity, but he joined the group after his friend encouraged him. Now, he has gained confidence and is excited to learn more. 

...it was fulfilling to give them the tools they needed

One of the youth tutors, Komahan, made the link between youth’s digital knowledge and seniors who are keen on learning or upgrading skills. "It was great to give back to the community, especially in a way in which I could see the immediate results. Having been born into the digital age, I had not really given thought to the generational rift caused by technology…The seniors I worked with had a strong desire to be informed and independent and it was fulfilling to give them the tools they needed. One of my tutees was especially excited by Google Translate, knowing that he could now read the Toronto Star and follow local news - allowing him to be more civically engaged."

We thank YEP for recruiting youth participants and providing this exciting curriculum. We’d also like to acknowledge the dedication of NYCH School Settlement Worker, Sarwar Mustofa, and the support of Albion Library for use of their facilities.


Please contact Shova for more information on our Friendly Visiting program, social programs, and educational workshops for older adults: sadhikari@nych.ca or 647-208-9733. Please visit www.enriches.ca for further information about our collaborative initiative to reduce isolation among senior caregivers.


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