Portage students attend poverty conference
Students from across the Portage la Prairie School Division attended a Manitoba Council for International Cooperation conference called Generating Momentum at the PCU Centre on Jan. 23. (Johnna Ruocco/THE GRAPHIC/QMI AGENCY)
Students from the Portage la Prairie School Division attended a conference to teach them about international and local issues and how they can get involved.
The Generating Momentum conference was hosted by Manitoba Council for International Cooperation on Jan. 23 at the PCU Centre for middle years students.
“What we want to do is get middle year students really excited about international issues and global issues, and so today we're going to be learning about poverty — worldwide and then we're also going to be talking about poverty as it exists in our communities here in Manitoba,” said Kira Burkett, from MCIC. “The hope is that the kids will be motivated to take action, so after the end of the day they'll have an idea, they have some time to plan with their school groups about what kind of events they can do in their school to raise awareness or raise money. The hope is that they'll go back to their schools and share that knowledge with their peers and get excited about being aware global citizens.”
The day began with MCIC talking to students about poverty and after that the students went into circuit sessions for about 40 minutes each, with focuses on planning and promoting, public speaking and goals for our world: past, present and future.
In the afternoon, the students went into creative workshops, with different students attending workshops for video, silk screening, theatre and digital photography.
“During that time they learn ways that they can do, make and share it, so whether they make a public service announcement and then take it back to their school, they learn those skills to get the word out,” Burkett said.
Students from Yellowquill School's social justice club were thrilled to be at the conference and want to be involved in making a difference.
“Just knowing that there's people in the world that are starving and hungry makes me want to take action and make a change in the world,” said Camille Sanderson.
“It's knowing that if we can stick together we can make a change,” said Mason Webber.
“I like to be involved with social justice because I feel like I can make a change in the world so it's not that I'm not doing anything with my life and I can do something for other people,” said Randi Roy.
“Just knowing that there are people out there who have diseases that cannot be cured just with money but with other things like better environment makes me want to help,” said Josue Garcia Garcia.
More than just being excited about the conference, the students were excited for what they could bring back to their schools after.
“I think we'll learn how we can be leaders so we can spread awareness to our school so not only we learn about social justice issues but the rest of our school learns too,” said Roy.