Statement Banner

, MLA Kirkfield Park
May 22, 2013

Growing Opportunities International Concert

Mr. Speaker, it’s always great to see our youth get involved in creating positive change around the world. For several years now, Growing Opportunities International (or GO!), has been engaging young people here in Winnipeg to support initiatives in East Africa.

GO!’s latest project is Hero Home, a home for orphans and street children in Tanzania that will use sport and recreational activities to teach life skills and promote a sense of belonging. Amanda Furst, GO!’s Executive Director, is in East Africa now, working on Hero Home as well as on some additions to a previous project, the St. Laurent Nursery School in Rwanda. GO! works with communities overseas to ensure that their projects are sustainable.

To support these projects, GO! is constantly fundraising, holding events and engaging people here in Winnipeg. Schools across the city have gotten involved with GO!, including Ecole Bannatyne School and Westwood Collegiate in my constituency. Just last month, Westwood was at it again with their “GO! Homeless” event. Students simulated a day in the life of a homeless child in Tanzania by spending an entire day without food or electronics and carrying all their belongings around with them. In the evening they slept over at the school, where they participated in activities and listened to speakers who have had first-hand experience with homelessness.

This past winter, GO! partnered with local comedian Aisha Alfa to raise funds for Hero Home. Aisha has been spearheading a campaign called YOU ROCK to promote random acts of kindness around the city. Together, they put on a fundraising concert at the West End Cultural Centre called the “YOU ROCK Comedy and Soul Jam.” I got a chance to attend the concert. It had a great lineup, including Aisha Alfa, Fringe Festival comedy group “Hot Thespian Action”, local R&B singer Flo, and the debut performance of a young student named Reynalyne Gacilan. This event was highly successful, Mr. Speaker, and Amanda and her team did an amazing job in putting it together.

Mr. Speaker, there are many dedicated Manitobans, young and old, who are working in a variety of ways to affect positive social change. I want to commend Growing Opportunities International for their hard work in connecting kindness here in our home community to the international community.

Thank you.