At CityKidz Regina, we believe every child should have the right to dream big, the right to have hope and the right to a positive image. Unfortunately, this is not the case so many children. In Saskatchewan the child poverty rate is 26.1% (Sasktatchewan Child and Family Poverty Report 2020, Child Poverty Report). This equates to over 14,512 children in Regina alone (based on 2021 Census 2021 Regina Child Populuation Aged 0-19)
At CityKidz Regina we begin impacting children as young as 5-years-old and in many cases even younger, as we visit the older siblings as part of our Connect Visits. One of the first questions I ask every child just starting out with the program is, “What is your BIG DREAM…what do you want to be when you grow up. It is amazing to watch the enthusiasm when they answer. They are shooting for the stars and jumping up and down, letting me know how excited they are to share their dreams….Police Office, Teacher, Hockey Player, Scientist….Now ask that exact same child at age 9 or 10, they still believe they can shoot for the stars and reach their dream, but the enthusiasm is gone, they are not as excited. At age 15 all hope is gone in pursuing their dreams. By then, they have become conditioned to believe that there is nothing for them, they are just another product of their environment.
At CityKidz Regina we provide a safe place for children to be a child and dream; we are building and nurturing healthy relationships that encourage them to rise above, we let them know they are loved and there is a plan and purpose for their life and we create new experiences for them to excel at life.
Over the past 3 years our youth aged participants have been hit hard. Programming was put on hold; then we could only have a limited number of participants attend. We began watching our youth leave and build their own programs. As these programs were not under any positive, adult supervision they were healthy activities. We have seen many starting to become just another statistic and product of their environment. But over the past few months as we continue to rebuild the Youth program, I am seeing and hearing from many of those that have wondered away, wanting to come back. They know that CityKidz Regina was and still is that safe place for them, a place where they are loved, a place where there are healthy adults that care for them.
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