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Get Up, Stand Up for Human Rights – Students at St. Joachim Elementary School in Brampton Host Human Rights Campaign

Intermediate students at St. Joachim Elementary School in Brampton hosted a Human Rights Campaign Fundraiser and Information night at the local Indigo Chapters at Market Hall on April 11th. 15% of the proceeds raised were donated to COSTI’s youth programs.

Students manned displays and shared educational materials with guests and patrons; conducted pop quizzes on “refugee and immigration facts”; read poems written and submitted to COSTI’s Annual Human Rights and Refugees Poetry Contest; and performed a moving rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine. In addition, COSTI youth who arrived in Canada as refugees shared their experiences as new Canadians and expressed gratitude and thanks for being able to live in a safe and caring community.

Intermediate Teachers Laura Di Buono and Alissia Paglia, have been holding class discussions on human rights as part of their social justice program. Students have conducted research on human rights issues and have also been reading the novel “Refugee” by Alan Grantz. Students recently completed an assignment where they compared the United Nations Code on Human Rights to a country of their choosing.

"It's heartwarming and inspiring to see how today’s youth are engaged in making a difference, not only within their school, but in their local community,” commented Yasmine Dossal, COSTI’s Director of Social Services, who attended the event along with clients and staff.

Michelle Thompson, Principal at St. Joachim’s, praised students and teachers and encouraged parents and guests to continue the dialogue. “At school we read books and study, but it’s important to teach our children to pay it forward, wherever you go and in whatever you do.”

COSTI’s Children and Youth Services are designed with the understanding that all young people have the right to be provided with support and guidance. The goals of our programs are to inspire confidence in youth, ensure that they stay in school, secure employment and become successful role models for other young men and women.

A number of our Children and Youth Services, such as the Art Therapy Program for traumatized refugee children, rely solely on donations. “The funds received through St. Joachim’s initiative will help support the program,” says Mario J. Calla, Executive Director for COSTI. “Our hope is to expand the program so that traumatized children have access to the Art Therapy Program on a daily basis."