Finding a Place to Belong

Razuma knows first-hand what a difference it makes to have a place to belong.

You are helping young adults like Razuma develop valuable leadership skills through your support of our Neighbourhoods programs.

Over the years, her family has received support through House of Friendship’s Neighbourhoods programs, including summer camp for Razuma and her siblings, and food when money was tight. “House of Friendship has always provided that safe community for families,” said Razuma. “All of the kids are so comfortable because of the community centres – they bring the community together in way nothing else can.”

So when Razuma was given the opportunity to give back, she jumped at the chance.

Razuma was chosen to help lead a March Break camp at Courtland Shelley Community Centre in 2020. She, along with another young co-leader, would work together to create a weeklong list of fun activities for the children to enjoy.

Unfortunately, COVID intervened. “We ended up doing something different,” said Razuma. “It was a short little online tutoring program for elementary kids, to help them cope with online school.”

That early volunteering experience, however, led Razuma to try many different things – helping with future summer camp programs, as well as handing out food through the Neighbourhood Food program at Chandler Mowat Community Centre. She has also kept up with online tutoring for young students.

“It’s been really fun helping the kids,” said Razuma. “I think because I’m only 19, they relate to me better, and feel more comfortable sharing their ideas with me.”

And by being a summer camp leader, Razuma has also built a strong relationship with the children at Courtland Shelley.

I think it makes a huge difference to them to see someone older taking an interest. The kids are excited to show up, and I get to see them become more confident every day.
– Razuma, Youth Leader

Today, while Razuma attends Wilfrid Laurier University, she has stayed connected through the Community
Centre Basketball League, where she volunteers as a coach.

“I know I was really lucky with the people I had around me, investing in my life,” said Razuma. “It feels good to know that I can also help inspire these kids to look to the future.”

Posted on: April 28th, 2023

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