Youth Challenging Social Isolation

July 29, 2020

What does this have to do with human rights?

Life during COVID-19 and physical and social isolation that resulted from it has serious effects on the mental health of youth. All children and youth have the right to being healthy, as is written in Article 24 of the UN Convention of the Right of the Child, and this includes mental and physical health.

Through their CAPs, youth challenged the social isolation during the height of the lockdown while maintaining the necessary safety measures and built stronger communities to take care of each other.

1. Heartwood, Nova Scotia

To challenge social isolation of youth in Nova Scotia during COVID-19, HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development began their HeART in a Box project. This box offered a youth-designed and youth-friendly art and mindfulness kit and was offered and shipped for free directly to the door of children and youth in Nova Scotia. They sent over 300 kits throughout the province thanks to their community financial support!

2. Native Montreal, Montréal Québec

The Native Montreal Youth Council has launched the campaign ‘Indigenous Whispers’ in order to provide their community with content to relax and to inspire feelings of safety during this unpredictable time. They have done so by sharing natural beauty and imagery of Indigenous languages. They also hope that this will allow non-Indigenous community members to learn new Indigenous words and better understand the Indigenous oral traditions.

3. Imagine New Brunswick, New Brusnwick

To respond to youth issues and youth needs during COVID-19 and the social isolation that it causes, Imagine New Brunswick has begun working with another group called the Union of Youth Newcomers to help them in their community response. Together they have been making a youth-focused COVID response video addressing the varied issues youth are facing during this difficult time.

4. Évasion St-Pie. X,Québec Québec

The children of l’Évasion St-Pie X in Québec expressed their need to develop passions and to have opportunities to live positive experiences outside of their everyday home environment, particularly in order to combat feelings of social isolation that these children, who are mostly newcomers, feel. To meet these children’s needs while also increasing their self-esteem and ability to express themselves, the centre provided the children with the opportunity to do an activity of their choice in small groups with their counselor, and later to present this activity and their learnings in front of their peers, family, and their community members at a community event in their home environment.

5. Black Creek Youth Initiative (BCYI), Toronto Ontario

The BCYI has provided important virtual support for youth and their community during this time of turmoil given the social isolation of COVID-19 and the politicization of youth from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In this virtual support space, they have offered a series of webinars around COVID-19 and BLM, as well as being very active and engaging on their online platforms.