Caring for Canada's Youth


As we celebrate Youth born in Canada and those coming to live in Canada from all over the world, we’re called upon to do at least 3 things:


  1. Every chance we get, say positive uplifting words to our Youth. Remind them of what they’re good at, and ask how we can help them. COVID-19 is taking a toll on our Youth. Our help and encouragement can be beacons that lead them to a better day.

  2. Learn about the challenges that Canadian Youth are facing. Watch for these challenges in our own Youth, and pray about how we can connect with them and help them.

  3. Provide kind, compassionate wisdom to them, and love – lots and lots of love!


On May 8, 2019, Statistics Canada released updates to a report called, “A Portrait of Canadian Youth”. Here are excerpts from it.

Today's Youth are unlike any generation before! They’re more diverse, connected, socially engaged, and educated. Many Youth are reaping the benefits, but others face challenges such as finding a full time job, social exclusion, and in the past five years, 1 in 5 has been cyber bullied. They face mental health challenges and addiction, and a higher risk of being obese. It is important to remember that Canada's Youth, well over 7 million people, will become Canada's future parents, prime-age workers, and seniors. Their early experiences and vulnerabilities can shape their outcomes later in life.


Here’s some statistics regarding those who are aged 15-30:

  • Nearly 100% use the Internet on a daily basis or own their own smartphone.

  • 77% use the Internet to follow news and current affairs.

  • One half conduct transactions on the Internet at least weekly – almost twice that of older Canadians.

  • 48% volunteer. This adds up to 23% of all volunteer hours in Canada.

  • 71% gave to a charitable or non-profit organization.

  • Almost 74% have friends from another ethnic group.

In many ways, Canada’s Youth are well positioned to succeed in today's complex global society, but not everyone feels included. We understand what it feels like when someone is unwelcoming, when social distancing is because of COVID-19, and because of our race, our country of origin, our colour, our religion, our sex. We understand what it’s like to not feel included, don’t we?


Yet, the example Jesus showed us is this: He was all about including everyone! Jesus mingled with people because He genuinely cared about them. He had sympathy for them. He cared for their needs.


So let’s do this: let’s start with the need of our Youth to feel included. Let’s ask them: Do they feel they have a special place in our family at home? In our family at church? Let’s pray about what we can do if they say No.


With suicide as the leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14, and the second leading cause of death among Youth aged 15 to 24, their lives may depend on it. Let’s pray about this.


Amen.

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