Welcome everyone after a week without school! And welcome back to those who went away for a little while.
For my reading week, I spent it with a team of girls from main campus who were ready to be the change. I had the great pleasure to be able to be a participant of Western Alternative Spring Break (ASB).
What is ASB?
ASB is an opportunity for students to spend their reading week on a service trip to learn more about their community and about their world. Its an opportunity for students to challenge their way of thinking, perspectives about different issues and to learn more about themselves. This year, ASB opened up this opportunity to the affiliated and I’m glad to be able to represent Brescia!
When I told people I was going to Winnipeg in one of the coldest months, I had few people laugh at me or ask why would I go to the coldest city out of all provinces? I didn’t choose my destination based on the beautiful sun and hot weather. Instead I chose it depending on the programs and what we will be doing. Team Winnipeg had the opportunity to understand what homelessness and food security is.
I stayed at Siloam Mission, one of the biggest shelters across Canada, that clothes, feeds and loves those who are less fortunate. Siloam Mission is committed to serve in the inner city of Winnipeg every single day. My team had the opportunity to serve in the soup kitchen, art room, clothing store and donations department. One of the coolest things about Siloam Mission is how much they depend on donations and volunteerism.
Every single day at the soup kitchen we delivered 800 plates to the patrons (homeless) a day. AND the best part is that all food is donated!
That very moment, I had the opportunity to witness what a community is. A community comes together in unity to serve and help those who are in need. I hope as many of us are well -educated we can live in community and unity. Then we will truly experience what it means to have a family in the place we live.
Every single day that I was there, I was challenged about the way I thought about homelessness and poverty. I was pushed to see things in different perspectives that eventually resulted in compassion. Each person that walks through the doors of Siloam is just like you and me. A person who deserves that respect and compassion from all.
No one deserves to be seen as trash nor deserves to be deprived of their basic needs. Yesterday night, I read about 2013 stats about homelessness in winter and 37 people like me and you froze to death in Toronto. No one deserves to live life alone.
My biggest tip to any of the years below me or my fellow peers is to use all the opportunities Western and Brescia can offer you. You’ll be amazed how much support you can get. You just have to look for it.
I really appreciated the opportunity for this trip because it gave me a broader view of what I can do with my Community Development Degree at Brescia. And one thing I got out of the trip is that I want to be a humanitarian. I want to use the blessings and power I have to advocate for those who don’t have their basic needs. Then we start to be change in the world.
It starts from you.