Yesterday I visited Rise Life Management Services, an inspiring NGO that is working with youth in 8 neighbourhoods in downtown Kingston. This organization started out with a focus on responding to addictions, providing treatment, education and crisis management. They soon realized that they wanted to be in the business of preventing addictions in youth, so they branched out with programs to serve the many youth-at-risk in the neighboring communities, including education, life skills, employment training, technology access and leadership through the arts.
Around the time of this change (which was about when they acquired their cat) the organization identified several youth participants that showed potential and continued to give them intensive leadership and lifestyle training opportunities. Eventually, 10 of these youth were hired to work for RISE directly, and today they are managing and leading programs for the next generations of youth. They are positive role models in action!
|Two of the program staff who've been around as long as the cat has.|
|This mural is based on an award-winning poster designed by a member of the community depicting respecting human rights.|
|The fruits of one of RISE's environment awareness programs - a Doctor Bird planter made out of an old tire.|
|Cuso's partnership with RISE is working on expanding their fundraising strategy to ensure organizational sustainability in covering operating and staff costs between program funding. Plans are already in the works for another volunteer to work on developing a social enterprise model which will help train young entrepreneurs in developing their business, and have the profits support both the community and RISE.|
|On the left, Sonita, the Executive Director of RISE, on the right, Britta, a Cuso volunteer.|
|Kate at Y.O.U.|