Saturday, June 25, 2011
The Wood Buffalo Youth Project
Growing up as a troubled kid, at risk, I know all to well what art and music did to change my life in a positive and hopeful way.
After many years as a Youth Care Worker with the same kind of kids, I had once been myself, I could not only relate, but was grateful to be able to give back to others as an adult, which was once so freely given to me, by proactively caring adults, when I was that messed up kid.
Youth Care had become my vocation and I had the privilege and opportunity to use my skills as an artist and musician to make a connection and even a positive change in the lives of these young people.
Many times I have heard, and it is commonly repeated, how children are our greatest resource, but rarely do you see this same statement put into real action.
I want to share with my readers, "The Wood Buffalo Youth Song Project", I heard about today, during Atlantic Air Waves, on CBC radio. The two very talented and gifted musicians instrumental in this project are, Keith Mullins and Thom Swift.
Thom I worked with many years ago, as a Youth Care Worker, who was very gifted and a dedicated Youth Care Worker, I will add.
This adage of, children being our greatest asset and resource is born out by putting words into action, through just this kind of creative and very valuable project that Thom and Keith have actualized. The kind of creativity Sir Ken Robinson speaks of that is so beneficial to children.
After living and working three years in the North West Territories, I know first hand the difficulties remote and isolated communities experience and bare, especially among the youth.
We have a serious crisis in our society throughout this vast country of Canada, with our "most treasured and important resource", and it is very much up to us, as a global community of adults, to make this world a hopeful, positive and loving world were children feel safe, where elders let them know they belong, are wanted and loved.
Creativity is a powerful tool to really make a difference in a child's life that empowers and enables this to happen in such a wonderful and positive way. Keith and Thom's project sets the bar for how this can happen, and I want to congratulate them, for what I am certain is making all the difference in the lives of these young people through their music and creativity. I also want to say thank you to them both and for all those who made this project possible for them and for the children they touched and shared their talents and gifts with. You guys really rock, and what a team!