It’s just a community garden, but it has meant so much more for Asma, Sabrina and Hana.
These young ladies in the Sunnydale neighbourhood have learned how to overcome shyness, develop fun activities for younger children, and give back to a community that has always been there for them.
They’ve become leaders.
Hana had already been volunteering at House of Friendship’s after-school programs at Sunnydale Community Centre, enjoying the opportunity to care for children. When she heard about the community garden – and knew she needed more volunteer hours for high school – she asked if she could help.
She invited her friends, Asma and Sabrina, to join in the fun.
As youth leaders in the “Flower Rangers” program, they helped the children with garden crafts, such as painting decorative rocks for the garden, planting, and playing fun social games – welcome activities for children who are still living through pandemic restrictions.
“I really liked working with the kids. I am not a social person, but because I helped out, I’m now more confident.” – Hana, a youth garden leader
For Asma and Sabrina, it was also a chance to remember the skills they had learned from their grandmother in Ethiopia, when they helped garden on the family farm.
The young women have even started adding their own garden plots at home. And, when the gardening season was coming to an end, they helped an elderly woman in their community winterize her garden.
Your support of our Neighbourhoods programs helps ensure that youth like Asma, Sabrina and Hana get opportunities to develop their skills as leaders, and overcome the odds that poverty stacks against them.
All three of the girls are already looking forward to this year’s growing season – when they, too, will have the chance to grow and flourish.
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