Social Justice 12 Class Gets In-Depth Look at Local Poverty
As part of the poverty unit in the Social Justice 12 class the students have been getting an in-depth look at poverty in the Victoria area.
"We are doing a lot of localized stuff, so we heard a lot of stories from people in Victoria, and we checked out places downtown ... also, we were looking at Hong Kong and what is going on there," explained Jake Samphire.
With an emphasis on poverty in the Victoria region, the students have been able to use local resources such as newspaper articles, and organizations like Out of the Rain Youth Shelter and Our Place Society to draw information from.
"We chose a recipe, went out and bought the ingredients, then cooked it at our school kitchen and delivered it to the Out of the Rain Youth Shelter," said Katie Hurst. "This month we cooked chili, and we prepared enough food to feed maybe 30 people."
Getting the chance to make a difference, big or small, was important to many of the students.
"Doing community work that has an immediate impact is really helpful," said Alex Boegman. "The government, they do things that are more long term, but just the people and the citizens ... you can volunteer, you can help out and then it has an immediate impact that benefits a lot of people's lives."
That first-hand knowledge and going to see Our Place were an aspect of the course the students found beneficial.
"What I found really surprising is when we went to Our Place, not only all the people that were around but also all the different organizations around Victoria that support the homeless communities," explained Eliza Bains. "Our tour guide was explaining how three homeless citizens can go to Hillside Optics and get glasses every month, and all the support and funding that people put into our poverty."
Camille Germain agreed that getting out into the community and seeing what is going on was important for her.
"There was so much more to Our Place than I originally thought," she said. "It's not something I took that much time to think about, as what needs to go in to make that a successful organization. All the services and everything they offer ... with so many facilities and people—it was cool to see that."
Colin MacMillan said taking the class has been a great experience and he is excited to see how the rest of the course continues.
"When I went into it I wasn't one-hundred per cent sure what we would be discussing," he said. "I knew it would be socio-political, but I kind of just took a shot in the dark. So far I have been enjoying it."
The Social Justice 12 class aims to raise students' awareness of the issues surrounding social injustice. This includes locally and globally, past and present. A major component of the class is the Action Project, where the students apply what they have learned to a current social justice issue.
Some of the projects they are working on include making a mural to raise awareness of pollution in the ocean, making chairs from eco-bricks and making 150 bags out of t-shirts!
Good luck to all the students on their action project!