The WAYVE conference for the 2016-2017 school year took place on February 16. Seven senior elementary and high schools from across Waterloo Region as well as the Kitchener Youth Action Council were able to join us for this fun and educational day. We also celebrated the WAYVE program turning 15 this school year!
Together we created a Diversity Quilt to represent how each of us our unique and together all of our qualities and talents come together to create a beautiful community. Here are some pictures of our quilt!
Students from each of the attending schools prepared an activity to run with their peers. Each activity focused on a different theme of diversity, and each one was a lot of fun.
We also had 4 amazing guest speakers join us to talk about their experiences and give us some tips on how to be more inclusive and accepting. Our guest speakers were: Paula Saunders (Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region), Washington P Silk (OK2BME), Ahmed Ullah (Rohingya youth leader), and Fitsum Areguy (Young Carers Project).
Ahmed was among a group of Rohingya refugee youth who shared the stories of their families’ harrowing escape from Burma through a play called “I Am Rohingya”. There is a documentary being created about the process of putting the play together and you can find out more about it or support it by clicking here.
Fitsum talked about the Young Carers Project and mentioned a documentary and a “By us for us” support guide. Check out the Young Carers Project website for links to these great resources. If you wanted more information about the peer support group being run through by the City of Kitchener click here.
Special thanks to Dillon Consulting Limited in Kitchener for sponsoring a portion of the conference and for assisting with volunteers. We really appreciate your contributions!