Sophie: Our focus for day three was community and active citizenship. Our ‘community maps’ helped us think in detail about who we feel connected to and how we maintain important relationships in our lives. Do you remember all the different people and places that make up your communities? Have you been active in your communities? I’ve been really active in my footy club lately, and recently someone proposed to their partner at the club! We all celebrated the moment, and I can’t quite believe that from my hockey roots, I’m now part of such a great community in my footy club.
Sandeep: There were some great stories that came out in the morning when we talked about our communities, how we welcome others, and when we shared the photos that represent us. I won’t soon forget Yimnu’s amazing story about the koi pond, Gary’s story about playing footy in the MCG, and all the others. Danayet really captured the impact of this moment in her blog post, where she says Gary’s story “reinforced to me the importance of connection to strengthen our level of awareness.”
One participant said in their feedback that the stories were their favourite part of Young Initiators: “I loved all the stories people have shared. I now have a greater understanding of my and other communities, and what is means to be a leader.”
Sophie: I don’t know if you all remember the Fired Up Map, but you were really, really fired up about a lot of things! The key issues that you voted for were:
The criminal justice system
Refugees and asylum seekers
Mental health and belonging
There is so much discussion out there about these issues. What have you heard about? There are a lot of great organisations and people that I’ve seen working to raise awareness or taking action on these issues - basically, being active citizens.
One example I’ve seen recently about ‘mental health and belonging’ is the new Red Cross mental health app called My Team. Nyayoud also connected me to some articles about abolishing prisons you can read here and here. Our team at CMY recently worked with Our Watch to promote a women’s empowerment and leadership program to help raise awareness about domestic violence. The stats on violence against women are pretty scary. If you haven’t heard about the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, they do some amazing advocacy work for refugees and asylum seekers and we’re big supporters! For climate change, check out the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and for youth unemployment you can read here about how there are over 58,000 young people unemployed in Victoria. What other things are you reading about or seeing that you think we should share? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on our Instragam page and let us know!
Sophie: For each of the issues that were identified, we all worked together at the end of the day to create some vision board. On the boards, we brainstormed what our communities (both local and global) could look like if we addressed these issues and made the change we want to see in the world. The visions everyone contributed left me with a profound feeling about our ability to create change and be the young active citizens our community needs!
Akolda and Phuong gave us some more insight about their Young Initiators experience in this video:
Madz: When I reflect on what I learned in becoming a Young Initiator, I think about finding other who care about their community and want to live their values. I think Chris said it best in his blog post, “Take a second. Grab a cup of tea. Turn off your mobile phone. Sit. Breathe. Notice with an open heart what is going on inside and around you …….and ask yourself: what is it that you truly care about?”
All: Thanks so much for being a Young Initiator. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the photo gallery at the bottom of the main harvest page. Best of luck! Keep creating change, keep in touch - and so will we!
“This is amazing for me and I’m lucky that I can be a part of this program. To hear and learn from others, share my experience and knowledge with others, and be an active citizen.”