Two Golden Key members from the University of Winnipeg, Jason Yang and Patricia Joven, recently returned from the Golden Future South Africa project in May. The project aimed at improving the lives of the youth and community members in one of South Africa’s most vulnerable communities, Khayelitsha. Launched in 2007 by the former University of Windsor Golden Key member Gary Kalaci, the organization has grown over the years and it is now partnered with various universities in Canada. The University of Winnipeg has just joined the project this year.
The executives of the Golden Key UWinnipeg Chapter first heard about this project during the Golden Key Regional Summit in 2014 where the project founder, Gary Kalaci, made a speech on community service. The UWinnipeg Chapter recognized it as a great opportunity to reach out to help the youth in need, and a great approach to promote international solidarity within their own campus. They decided to make this project one of their chapter service initiatives. And, this project fell perfectly in line with Golden Key’s SPARK a Change initiative. Launched in July 2014, SPARK a Change’s mission is to impact and improve the lives of at-risk youth (ages 0-17) through literacy, education and real-world preparedness. Through SPARK, Golden Key aims to raise $40,000, dedicate 400,000 hours of service and impact 400,000 lives in local communities & around the world by 2017. These efforts are helping Golden Key reach this goal.
Since September 2014, UWinnipeg chapter has recruited their own volunteers, and organized multiple fundraising events through the school year, including a fundraiser Gaming Night and a crowd funding website, in order to provide financial supports to the volunteers. At the same time, volunteers were trained with different modules in Life Skills, Sexual Health, Education, and Business.
In May 2015, along with another 25 volunteers from Windsor and Toronto, the UWinnipeg team travelled to South Africa to provide their services to the community of Khayelitsha. Jason and Patricia were a part of the Sexual Health team, which was focused on promoting safe sex and sexual consent in the local high schools. During the course of two weeks, Sexual Health team alone, 8 of them together, taught more than 60 classes and reached to approximately 1800 students. They were so glad to see their efforts were making small differences day by day, and they were so proud to be a part of the project representing their own school and their Golden Key chapter.