We are excited to donate $10,000 to the Peel Children’s Centre (PCC) and $7,500 to Peel Children and Youth Initiative (PCYI).
Our contribution to Peel Children’s Centre will aid children with behavioural and/or anxiety challenges as well as to their families that would not otherwise be able to benefit from traditional care.
Established in 1984, Peel Children’s Centre serves the mental health treatment needs of children and youth (from birth to 17 years) living in the Region of Peel. Collette’s funding is earmarked toward the nonprofit’s Strongest Families Program, which provides faster access to high quality service by offering family “help at home” using cost-effective, evidence-based interventions delivered by a team of highly trained coaches from a call-centre base.
Collette’s funding toward PCYI will help offset the costs for its second annual Peel Youth Leaders Conference. The conference, held during the summer, offers training for young people in Peel that guide them in taking meaningful leadership roles in their community.
With our support and funding, PCYI hosted its first Peel Youth Leaders Conference on July 23, 2013, to build the capacity of young people in Peel to take on meaningful leadership roles in our community. Participants included PCYI’s Youth Advisory Council members, and other youth leaders, or aspiring leaders, in the region.
When Ontario-resident John Coxon walked through the doors of Tenderfeet Education Center in Riruta, Kenya, what he found transformed him. The children listened so attentively to their teacher that they did not even notice they had visitors at first; and their eagerness for learning and being in school was something that inspired him. Upon Coxon’s return home, he rallied support from Rotary District 7010 in Canada, specifically from the Rotary Clubs of Lindsay and Fenelon Falls to donate $8,500 for school uniforms, athletic attire, and supplies.
“As a Rotarian, the support of education is a strong focus in our efforts to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace,” he said. “The visit to Tenderfeet Education Center was such a moving experience. We admired the teaching staff for their dedication and the love that they displayed toward the students. The children were genuinely engaged in learning. They are fed and their health is looked after, too.”
Developed to aid orphans and other vulnerable children of pre-school through fifth-grade age, the Tenderfeet Education Center focuses on creating a positive and safe learning environment for children. The Center was founded and is directed by a passionate woman named Mama Margaret Nyabuto whose motivation has paved the way for children to create fulfilling lives with good education and a strong sense of self-worth.
When Coxon spoke to the two Rotary Clubs upon his return, they were both motivated to help because without Tenderfeet most of these children would not have an opportunity for an education. Raising these funds to support the uniforms (a requirement in public school institutes in Kenya) is just the beginning; there are more plans in the works for new ways to help these inspiring children.
The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) connects children, ages 5-12, with the splendor of Vancouver’s natural environment. Funding from the Collette Foundation has resulted in even greater success in 2012! Having just completed our second year of partnership with SPES, we are proud to acknowledge the achievements thus far as a result of a collaborative effort. In 2011, 400 children and their families took part in various activities and excursions within the Park hosted by SPES. In 2012, that number grew to more than 800! Visits to the park by school children through the assisted funding of the Collette Foundation grew from 75 to 154 in just one year.
SPES offers inspiring events such as “Explorer Day” field trips as well as weekend exploration days where children and their families spend 2 hours of exploration within the park, learning about native plants and trees, animals and conservation of the local environment.
What child doesn’t like to jump in puddles or run through forest trails pretending they are a great explorer! I’m proud to say, funding from the Collette Foundation has enabled SPES staff to offer educational outreach programs to children in disadvantaged areas, but more importantly have had the ability to offer subsidies to schools so that children have the opportunity to visit and explore the Park!
As the philosopher Lao Tze once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Through continued funding from the Collette Foundation in 2013 and efforts of both SPES staff and volunteers, the quest to engage and teach children about the wonders of nature will continue.
Our Canada project has some great news to report! As well as the monthly club gatherings that focused respectively on “Our Friends the Frogs”, “Ocean Commotion”, “Bugs Alive”, and “Seedy Characters”, during July and August the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) which we partner with hosted 15 day camps with approximately 288 campers between the ages of 3-13 in large part due to the funding from the Collette Foundation.
These day camps had their own nature explorer themes: “Stanley Park Survivor”, “Wildlife Safari”, and “Nature Detectives” were the most popular programs. Stanley Park Survivor — geared towards ages 9-13 – teaches basic outdoor skills, while Wildlife Safari and Nature Detectives — both geared toward younger children — emphasize the diverse habitat and plant and animal species in Stanley Park.
As the children learned about bow drills, Douglas firs, making nature shelters and insects and birdlife, we all considered the camps to be a huge success. The kids felt happy, engaged and empowered — and the instructors all felt incredibly rewarded.
Guest Blogger: Brett Walker (Canada Project Ambassador)
I cannot express what a wonderful experience our team of volunteers had recently during a very hands-on exploration of The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) – the Canada project for the Collette Foundation. It was called “A Day at the Park” — and in attendance were about 30 people including the Young Naturalist kids and their accompanying parents. Also in attendance were staff from SPES, and quite a few volunteers from the Collette Foundation. Adults and children alike rolled up their sleeves and were active participants in this great outdoor experience.
We were all so thrilled to get involved with a day of activities with the Young Naturalists. SPES calls this beautiful park a big classroom — and for me, it was wonderful to walk through such a fascinating classroom. I definitely learned so much as did the ever-eager children. The day started out with kids and SPES staff taking a stroll around Lost Lagoon and identifying local bird species (migratory, over wintering, and local among them) and discussing different habitat requirements for birds, ways to conserve and create habitats (planting native species at home, strategies the Park could practice, and how the city could execute plans to help).
Older kids (aka adult volunteers) took part in invasive species removal in the park while the kids explored and learned more about bird habitats. The absolute best part of the day for all was when the “Big” kids and little kids alike convened at the Nature House to create ‘birdie buffets!’ Some might call them giant pine cone bird feeders. It was messy and interesting and an absolute blast.
SPES did a stand-out job creating the theme and activities; it was perfect for the spring season as migratory birds begin to find their way back through and into Stanley Park and local neighborhoods.
It was an unforgettable – but most of all FUN – experience for all. For me, I got to see up close the program in action that the Collette Foundation supports. The look on the children’s faces, their enthusiasm, the passion of SPES, and the pride of the parents present… it made me feel truly proud to be a part of this.
Oh the majesty and grandeur that is Stanley Park! No visit to Vancouver would be complete without at least a drive through Stanley Park. But few visitors to Vancouver are aware of how expansive the park really is. At just over 400 hectares or 1000 acres – it’s huge! Not sure how huge 400 hectares really are? As a frame of reference, most people are familiar with Central Park in NYC. Well, Stanley Park is 10% larger then Central Park, making it the largest urban park in North America and arguably the most beautiful urban park in the world!
Collette visits the world. The Collette Foundation aims to make the world a better place; to conserve beautiful spots like Stanley Park; to offer the children of the world brighter futures. The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) “promotes awareness of and respect for the natural world and plays a leadership role in the stewardship of Stanley Park through collaborative initiatives in education, research and conservation.” That’s their mission. And I’m thrilled that we are part of it. The educational programs that teach children about science and nature and conservation is part of a bigger promise that the Collette Foundation has made. Travelers have been so excited to learn from a SPES member about the important programming the society is responsible for within the Park.
It’s a beautiful park. Stunning, really. But knowing about the good work happening there, knowing how the children are benefitting from its existence, makes it all the more beautiful.
The guide gives a general tour of the park and speaks about the ecology of the park and the projects that are supported by the Collette Foundation. The feedback from travelers has been that they loved the enthusiasm and commentary the SPES staff shared with them.
The Collette Foundation is so excited to partner with SPES to promote nature education and conservation in Stanley Park. SPES hosts thousands of school children and other groups in the park for eco adventures which examine the principles of ecology in a most hands-on way. With the assistance of the foundation, SPES has been able to reduce or eliminate the fees for all of Public Education programs. Specialized projects combining nature and the arts, have been created to connect children to nature in non-traditional ways.