Africans Catching up to The Dream

Empowering and equipping young African-Canadians(Afri-Cans) with updated information on positive attitudes, concrete values, and direction in making the right choices so as to promote the quest for higher education, employability, and enhanced socio-economic status.

Introduction: The Issue

  • This program Youth Impact’s “The Dream” Project: aims to provide a modern platform for discussion where the youth may share updated information, participate in debates on current issues affecting racialized African-Canadian communities,
  • Promote creativity & productivity, and conduct leadership/empowerment workshops so as to promote academic, professional, social, and economic development,
  • Target Groups: Newcomers and racialized African-Canadians (Afri-Cans) youths in Ottawa.

Why Care?

  • Most racialized students and newcomers of African descent face multiple challenges at school and while bridging to  employment due to:
  • Inferiority complex (from pre-existing misperceptions about Africans) that kills motivation and confidence,
  • Pre-entry myths and misperceptions about academic enrollment, social systems, and labour markets in Canada,
  • Post entry realities that leave some confused or discouraged to search for better opportunities,
  • Criminalization and gang recruitment seems to be predominant in these communities due to poverty,
  • Alienation and Under-estimation from potential employers, teachers, and even colleagues in different settings due to pre-existing misperceptions about Africans
  • Untold success stories from role models of similar experiences that could boost motivation and inspiration,
  • Other reasons for PDP project: Lack of resource know-how, misinformation (e.g. resources & job requirements), inadequate academic and technical skills (writing, job search, computer skills), etc.
  • This problem is more pronounced within the black/minority/low-income communities where it continues to penetrate and expand as more and more youths either fail short of the means or the knowledge on how best to deal/cope/address these issues, and in the midst of the small “mom-pop” minimum wage jobs available, most of our youths and young adults end up dropping out of school, cutting their dreams short, giving up on professional job search, and some end up in “underground economy” or even criminal activities!

Potential Solution: Catching up to the Dream Show

  • Potential solution: ‘The Dream” project provides these target youth with access to information through a live interaction show that could increase involvement, and readership, expand their network, improve their employability, and improve their socio-economic status. In the long run, this may ultimately lead to the following benefits to the provincial/federal governments:
  • Reduced claims in social assistance,
  • Reduction in Employment Insurance Benefit claims,
  • Reduced gang membership/recruitment rates,
  • Enhanced academic performance,
  • Enhanced employability,
  • Improved Economic Standing and hence, increased income tax from these communities.

In order to promote leadership, skill-development, and employability for the identified target group, a one-hour-a-week period of The Dream show may help by providing aired discussions, workshops, and information sessions on the following:

  • Hot topics/Teachings on Canadian values and WHAT TO DO/NOT TO DO in case of … for instance: If/when approached for credit card fraudulent activities, gang recruitment, underground economy offers, quick/easy money etc, and possible repercussions of certain involvement/s
  • Debates on Understanding Canadian values, rights, and responsibilities – How they can be applied to daily living and the dangers of involving oneself in some bad habits,
  • Information on different academic programs and potential career paths with projected average annual incomes,
  • Showcase success stories from experienced African Canadians with short off-line/on-air interviews,
  • How To’s “Question Period” with an academic/Careers/a social services experienced professional: Provide a live interaction with viewers and listeners for 10-15 minutes,
  • Provide helpful tips on job search strategies and relevant available employment programs/opportunities that come up,
  • Orientation/information on upcoming recruitment processes and how to apply – post links on the website and social media accounts,
  • Awareness campaigns/discussions on how to deal/cope with alienation, racism, and discrimination whenever encountered,
  • Trending non-secret/non-classified topics on immigration issues and how they affect community programs/how they should be applied,
  • Organized fun activities on a quarterly/semi-annually/annually basis depending on available funding.

Necessary Resources for the Dream Project to Function

  • 1 hour/week airtime on a national/provincial television network, with a repeat over the weekend, but may be necessary to conduct trial sessions prior to going live,
  • A set of professional video & picture cameras, audio recorders, lights, projector, and two computers/laptops,
  • Movable Furniture for the show,
  • A Social Media personnel to maintain, control and manage media contents for posting and responses to questions,
  • A content reporter/junior journalist and a junior analyst to gather weekly reports, conduct necessary interviews, and prepare show contents,
  • A show Host to review, analyze, and creatively internalize show contents,
  • Show overseer/director, an experienced leader with enough exposure to social services issues/immigrant cases,
  • Printer/s and printing resources such as paper, ink cartridges, and a Shredder,
  • Booklets, pens, and pencils,
  • Show Space – Can we rent the space from El-Shaddai/Transform the podium into the show’s setting?? – Some monthly income for us!
  • Volunteers and at least one part-time principal coordinator,
  • If this project gains a significant size of audience, it may be necessary to have a separate website for later on.

End Goal - Program Benefits

  • Quicker and more effective integration into the Canadian Economy,
  • Enhanced academic and professional achievement, and thus increased employability,
  • Enhanced Economic well-being for the target group and hence increased income tax from them to the governments,
  • Reduced claims in social assistance,
  • Reduction in claims for Employment Insurance Benefit,
  • Reduced gang membership/recruitment rates.

Impact in Our Society

Historically, “Wherever Christians have gone, there has been great evidence of social reform.” While the primary goal of Christianity may be to help souls go to heaven (or salvation of souls), the lifestyle, values, and principles taught and emphasized in Christianity go hand-in-hand with those of a moral, law-abiding, and peaceful citizen.

For this reason, Christianity goes a long way in helping a young person in the following ways:

  • Boosting self-confidence and hope for all: teachings are focused on bringing the best out of an individual, often times, they are like psychological therapies for daily living,
  • Emphasis on literacy and education: Christianity has not only promoted the establishment and advancement of many schools but also continues to emphasize the benefits of schooling to gain better economic outcomes for individuals and their families,
  • Emphasis on honouring the ten commandments: this helps people abide by the governing laws, rules, and regulations, hence lowering the likelihood of engaging in criminal activities,
  • Condemnation of adultery and fornication: continues to help preserve the human race and save many from heart-ache and negative consequences of pre-marital and post-marital affairs,
  • Free Enterprise and Work Ethic: Private property rights are enforced and can be traced back to the “Ten Commandments,” specific examples – “Thou shall not steal,” Thou Shall Not Covet/lie,”… provide concrete examples of these two,
  • Talent promotion in arts, music, public speaking, leadership, and many others,
  • Compassion and Mercy towards others.