Five Outstanding Youth Give Back to the Community Through Seva Fellowship
Five Seva Fellows, Jimmy Tan, Amrit Kaur Sidhu, Akashdeep Singh Sidhu, Richa Machado and Jaspreet Singh Khela, selected through a competitive process by the Seva Food Bank have completed a six-month leadership program designed to enhance their capacity to create change in their communities. The program was funded through a generous grant from the Inspirit Foundation.
“At Seva, we see the potential for incredible youth in the local community to hone their skills and become the next generation of leaders for the Peel Region, Ontario and Canada,” said Sadia Rafiquddin, Director of Client Programs and Youth Development.
Each fellow participated in the rigorous program consisting of skills building workshops, community service, exposure to a variety of faith based institutions, a trip to the Alderville First Nations Pow Wow, a summer kayaking trip and individual and group mentorship throughout the program.
During their experience, fellows were responsible for completing a project that challenged them to collaborate with their peers and give back to the community.
Richa recognized the need for low-income families to have opportunities for fun in the summer months. Supported by Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr, Richa organized a barbecue for Seva’s client families to enjoy a meal, science experiments and a reptile show. Over 150 client families attended the barbeque.
Jimmy, inspired by the story of a friend who was experiencing a mental illness, organized a Mental Health and Empathy training for 80 volunteers from the Seva Community. Volunteers attended sessions with art therapist Rapinder Kaur and Tammy Whelen of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Amrit pursued her passion for eye health by organizing a Dinner in the Dark at TEN Restaurant and Wine Bar with proceeds going to the CNIB. She wanted to connect the community with the challenges of blindness and degenerative eye diseases. Chef Nic Prong and his team delivered an extraordinary menu for the event.
Jaspreet connected his passion for technology and education by creating films that can educate children and parents about opportunities available to them. The films will be showcased to the Seva community and available at trainings and client events.
Akash examined the challenge of budgeting with limited financial resources for clients of Seva Food Bank. He gathered information for clients and organized for a financial planner to provide regular workshops for clients at Seva Food Bank.
Together the fellows learned the value of teamwork, perseverance and overcoming obstacles to successfully complete their projects. In the process, they became supportive friends and empathic leaders. Manraj Pannu, member of Seva’s Board of Directors said, “the fellows have inspired everyone in this community. The program is a unique opportunity for youth in the Peel Region to expand their skills and exposure to new experiences. We hope they use the Fellowship as a platform to pursue bigger opportunities in the future.”