Subjects discussed at the meeting by Board Members and Visitors.
1). What is out in the community in terms of available funding and support. YMCA Capital Campaign Update.
An example of available funds and support coming from the public is clearly shown with reference to newspaper articles that the YMCA had placed in local newspapers in November of 2000. It was here that donations of $25,000 to $100,000 or more, were asked to be given to the YMCA in a effort to build a $15 million, 60,000 square-foot facility. This particular fundraiser was capped at $2.25 million, and within months of it's initial start, the YMCA came very close to reaching the half way mark with funds coming in from the Surrey Firefighters Charitable Foundation in the tune of $250,000, and from others such as Surrey Metro Savings, Scotia McLeod, the Barker family, and Benchmark Group who all contributed $100,000 each towards the project. It should be noted, that one anonymous donor gave generously in the amount of $155,000.
Clearly, when we think that in order to build any sound cooking facility onto a school site, we are looking at costs of anywhere between $25,000 to $100,000 to $300,000 per school site depending on it's needs, in comparison to the YMCA fundraiser drive. In other words, for every million dollars that we raise, 4 to 8 schools can receive if we want, state-of-the-art cooking facilities that can provide hot healthy lunches for the students within those schools. By introducing a sound lunch program into the mainstream public arena, we create job stability through innovated techniques that benefit everyone. $100,000 to $300,000 may seem like
a lot of money, but in fact it is little compared to the over all advancement of what a 'workable' Extended Lunch Program can provide to our children as a group and to our community as a whole. I vote yes.
|2). Surrey Food Bank no longer 'temporary'.
In every city 'Food Banks' are bursting at the seams with more people depending on them to help carry over the expense of rising food prices. I don't have the exact figures at this time, but all will agree that food banks are struggling to keep up with the demand, and each year their role call increases with whole families depending on this community service monthly to supplement their food needs. Consequently, food banks have lulls in donations depending on what time of year it is and on the economical times. So, often times frustration is experienced from all levels of participation, from administrators, to sponsors, to volunteers, to recipient, and on. It is a cycle that needs to be corrected, and by introducing a Workable Extended Lunch Program, we can begin to curb a trend that should not exist in the first place. By providing a "cost affordable lunch" to our children through the school system, with estimated cost at $50.00 per month per child, which includes a healthy afternoon snack before the child goes home, we guarantee a consistent food supply that is fresh, nutritious, and earth friendly (meaning less package wastage, eg. landfill concerns, etc.); plus we can relax in terms of having to worry about what to prepare for our children the night before school, and/or worry about food poisoning because of inadequate food storage at school in school room lockers.
In conclusion, the goal behind the NU Foundation is to introduce and work with a "Workable Lunch Program" that is self reliant in it's practice to provide healthy lunches to school age children of all ages. The program will be a pay for service as it should, because then each family has the opportunity to participate within the success of the program as a whole. In other words, if we want the program to be successful and have the ability to expand rapidly, then we must all participate equally. There will be no subsidizing within the NU program. However, stable employment opportunities will open up and social changes will bring about prosperity and economical stability. Food banks will not have to worry about competing with us for limited resources, and the numbers of recipients who use these services should decrease with the increase of job-creation. The stigma of the poor child syndrome connected to "Lunch Programs" needs to be re-directed towards a direction that encourages whole communities to participate on a equal playing field that allows for group benefits. I vote yes.
3). Hooker problem prompts march.
The concerns fuelling the negative approach being used to deter street walkers from using certain geographical areas as their residential place of work, has been an issue that has long affected our society. In every city, small groups of individuals have taken it upon themselves on several occasions to run hookers out of their neighbourhood streets, with the hope of curbing the increase of danger to the children who live in these neighbourhoods were prostitutes frequent. The dangers associated with prostitution being practiced within residential areas are found in the high "disproportional increase of litter", namely used needles and con.. doms, which are "all" to be consider highly hazardous waste which may carry the HIV virus; and within the higher risk of sexual harassment and potential of rape to residential children and women who live in that area, but are mistaken in identity.
This is were we need to take note at how we treat members within our community who are both (meaning public verses prostitute) suffering at the expense of no communication, compromise, commitment, solutions, and/or moral responsibilities. Here we can use this example where, the point of child prostitution being brought to the table as this topic was being discussed, and all agreed that child prostitution needs to be STOPPED. Yet, we as a society have been allowing this trend of exploiting our children (boys and girls) and women and men in the guise of silence for so long, that most would think change is impossible. That is partly the problem, we convince ourselves that we cannot change what is, but rather settled to run the problem else where, while not taking our full responsibility for being silent and apathetic in our response to help these people instead.
By law, a 10 year old or 15 year old is protected and are consider as minors and are the most vulnerable of our species, but yet we have whole street corners of young men and women who are at the hands of the selfish, and are exploited from every angel. This personally to me is a sure sign of what our society needs to fix, and considering that this lack of concern for our youth has been perpetrated for so long, we need to begin to address this concern immediately. If we continue to idly do nothing but bandage solutions as in turning a blind eye, and/or trying to run whole congregations of prostitutes to other areas that are often times just another residential area; then we will only continue to see an increase of hazardous waste being deposited into neighborhoods that can ONLY adversely affect our children in many ways both physically and emotionally.
One reason I favour our youth is because they are in tune with what pains them, and I believe that through the NU Foundation we can make a difference in the lives of many. By taking a STRONG STAND to assist in areas that nobody seems to want to address but perhaps just a few concerned angry residents, and/or interest groups who are designed to help people who find themselves caught up in this 'cycle of social abuse', but lack the resources or support to really make their valuable skills counted and noticed, we can begin to change the very social fiber on how we 'view and treat' certain individuals within our society. Prostitution is a issue that needs to be responsibly dealt with by first coming to agreement that "OUR CHILDREN WILL NOT BE EXPLOITED ANY LONGER", and secondly, that we as a community will tackle this social issue as a whole community, as should be. I vote yes.
4). B.C's first mosque damaged by fire.
Here we have one example of racial tensions not being defused and/or handled effectively, so that community harmony between 'culturally diverse groups' of people can be found. It was suggested at the table that Surrey B.C. is a pre-mapped out territory in relations to the East Indian community: while others who want to utilize and/or may want to share in the resources in this area of town are being subject to lock out, through acts of various forms of intimidation. Due to strong religious beliefs that often times clash with each other, tensions are fueled and natural human competition becomes unhealthy and then unproductive, as in the case of fires being deliberately set to run people out. It should be NOTED, it is not being said that the East Indian community is responsible for this act of violence, but that rather racial tension exist between diverse Ethnic groups of people from all walks of life. We have this problem all through the country and through out the world, and regardless as to who is the aggressor, this is an issue that must be corrected in order to bring harmony among the different Cultures.
An example would be, that it was noted that many young East Indian males display a unnecessary show of aggression and hostility towards their peers, etc.. Their show of aggression is creating unnecessary fear among parents and students from other Ethnic backgrounds (and even the East Indian community has been targeted by racial acts of intimidation and/or violence), and because the East Indian community has a strong economical hold within it's surrounding area, this has somehow given the message to the younger generations of East Indian males, that they have few boundaries in regards to respecting their fellow human being. We also have been alerted to the rise in groups consisting of male East Indians trying to run other Ethnic groups of children out of public parks, while claiming these parks as their own. Also, it was noted that the lawful allowing of carrying sheath 7 inch weapons, regardless of whether it is for show to promote ones religion, is something that needs to be addressed and looked at further before we as a society accepts such a law that has never been in our books before.
I personally, do not feel comfortable with the knowledge that our children who do practice lawful behavior, have to be subject with the thought of going out into public to only be faced with hostile teens, youth, and/or adults who carry potentially deadly weapons in the guise of religion. Consequently, we are conditioning our youth to submit themselves to these few individuals in any event and in any way you want to look at it. It's so, because we have no choice in the matter, but yet we ourselves are asked by law to NOT carry knifes with the intent that if we pull it out of the sheath, then we better be prepared to use it to draw blood; as in the case with these religious groups who practice this from of religion (note: children are being allowed to carry knives to school as young as 12). It was agreed that if these religious groups want to practice a show of violence or show of 'warriorizm', then they should do it in the comforts of their home. For "WE DO NOT" live in a country that promotes violence or war, and therefore we should NOT foster that show of behavior under any circumstances for the benefit of our society, for social security and respect, especially to that of our/your neighbour. It was agreed by all to discuss this issue further, and perhaps in the future we can get a dialogue happening between the people. I vote yes.
5). City slams door on Raves.
Here I will take it upon myself to first say, that there are mixed feelings about the issue behind Raves. Some people think they should be banned all together and ran out of town, while others think they provide employment, entertainment, and an outlet for young people to vent in (through all night dancing). However, one thing we can all agree on and that's is, whatever the vote is, a Rave will be found somewhere. It will certainly go underground and thus, it becomes more dangerous to our youth due to possible drug abuse and over-dose. The problem behind Raves is in their connection to drug use and abuse, and it is NOT in connection to death from stampede as in major soccer tournaments. The message behind a Rave is one of 'unity and peace', and names such as the "Blessin" who are located on the mainland, are prime examples of what a Rave is suppose to represent. There is no association of rave promoters, so the industry is relatively uncontrolled and unmonitored, which results in mistrust and confusion among many of the promoters, public, parents and teens themselves.
In short, we as a community need to explore ways that can bring us together so that we can encourage co-operation which results in compromise between all groups of people. Through careful planning and through team workmanship, functions such as raves can be made to promote health, spiritual awareness, community awareness, family awareness, moral awareness, and all other such life preserving ideals, in away that reaches our youth so that they can require a positive outlook on life. This translates to employment opportunities opening up and stabilizing, creativity will begin to burst at the seams, and our youth will be safe and nurtured in a direction that benefits all of us in a positive way. I vote yes.