Annual summer youth camp and excursion program
Our summer youth camp program is developed with emphasis on youth training, education, and youth development, and to also create a supervised avenue for participants to engage in social and intellectual interactions. Every year, our annual youth summer camp provides the platform for dozens of children and youths across the GTA, particularly in communities with under-privileged people to gather together and share a sense of friendship and community participation.
The annual one- week long program draws children and young people from different grades to participate in educative and productive activities, thereby reducing their vulnerability to crime and other negative peer influences that develop with idleness. We recognise the important roles of youths in promoting peace and stability in the community, and this has prompted us to invest more of our time and resources to put together programs that would benefit our youths and contribute to their development.
Our annual youth summer camp brings notable people in the community, who have distinguished themselves in their various careers and professions to educate and counsel young people. In the past, we have had officers from Toronto Police Services educate the youths in the camp on topics that focus on crime reduction and how to maintain a drug free society. Career counsellors have also shared helpful information and resources on career development for the youths. The forum has brought doctors, lawyers, educators, scientists, engineers and other professionals to educate the youths on these professions and to stimulate their interest.
In addition to participation in different workshops that provide information on career development, community involvement, healthy living, and cultural development, participants also get involved in recreational activities, games and intellectual debates. During the week long program, participants also enjoy daily free lunch and transportation to venues of activities.
In summer of 2013, we took a further step in our annual summer youth program by organising a day “out of town” excursion trip to African Lion Safari. This maiden trip recorded about 100 participants including children, youths, adults and senior citizens across the GTA. The trip successfully accomplished its objective to provide opportunity for under-privileged people with “low economic status” to enable them participate in educative “mini-vacation” which could have been impossible for them. Pictures and videos of these events are available on our website.
If you would like to participate in any of our programs, or to donate towards our next summer youth camp and excursion program, please, contact us by phone, email or facebook.
Annual Family Day Picnic and BBQ
Ekiti Kete Canada members volunteer their time, efforts, resources and expertise towards our association events and program every year. On the first Sunday in July of every year, we gather together in an outdoor field as a family with other interested members of the community to show appreciation to our sponsors, donors and dedicated members without whom we could not achieve our objectives.
Our annual Family Day Picnic & BBQ event is a large outdoor event that draws hundreds of people across the GTA and other parts of Canada. This event also provides us with the opportunity to elaborate on our charitable programs and solicit for donations. In 2013, the event took place at Lord G. Ross Park in Toronto with estimated 300 people in attendance, including adults and children.
In addition to the regular BBQ chicken, burger and hot dog, participants are normally treated to assorted delicacies from Africa such as “iyan ati efo riro” (pounded yam with vegetable soup), asaro (porridge), agbado sisun (roasted corn), boli ati epa (roasted plantain with peanut), akara (baked beans) and much more. In a show of Ekiti tradition, the pounded yam, iyan is normally prepared “live” at the picnic venue.
Additionally, the event provides an avenue for participants to socialise and share jokes. If you would like to participate in games like “ayo olopon”, ludo, draught, table tennis, soccer, egg race and sack race and compete with other participants, be our guest at the next Picnic & BBQ event in Toronto. Seee you then!
Annual Children Christmas party
Christmas season is known for festivity, get together and gift sharing among loved ones. For all children, the joy of Christmas is not complete without the gifts that come from the so called “Santa Clause” that travels all the way from the North Pole. But for an under-privileged child as a result of his parents’ low socio-economic status, gift sharing might just be a mere wish except it is provided through charitable course.
Every year, Ekiti Kete Canada finds opportunity to make Christmas a memorable event full of fun and gift sharing for children and adolescents of parents with low socio-economic status. Over 100 under-privileged youths and children with about 50 accompanying adults attend our Christmas party annually, where they are provided with valuable gifts and free dinner.
In 2012, about 150 under-privileged children and youths (under 18 years of age) within the Greater Toronto Area benefitted from our annual children Christmas party gift bags, and we expect the list to grow over time as resources permit.
In addition to the gifts distributed to the children at the Christmas party, accompanying parents have the opportunity to participate in an open raffle draw in which up to five winners would emerge to claim different categories of prices. In 2012, the raffle draw price for the first position was a brand new 37” LED TV. Proceeds from the raffle draw goes to support our youth camp program.
Community Outreach/Feed the Poor Program
Our community outreach program is designed to provide useful information and needed support that could assist homeless persons and people suffering from substance addiction to become independent individuals in the community. We make unscheduled but timely visit to different shelters in Toronto at least, once every quarter. During our visits, we demonstrate passion for these individuals by providing emotional and material (clothing, prepared food and drink s) for them. The satisfaction that the shelter residents derive from the refreshing taste of our hot lunch with Tim Horton’ coffee normally create the opportunity for us to gain their attention during counselling session.
From the testimonies we have received, we are happy to make positive impact in the lives of these individuals, some of whom have given up addiction and are on the way to independent living.
Our goal is to develop a program that could facilitate the participation of these individuals in “day program” activities that focus on providing training on low to medium skill jobs, depending on their respective abilities and capabilities. By implementing program of this nature, we would tap into the pool of our membership, some of whom possess expertise in human resources and skills development to channel a new course in life for these individuals. Because we do not have access to reliable source of funding, the revenue generated from our member could not provide this level of service at the present. We hope to build on our plan as funding allows.
Cultural development program
We believe that cultural development is an important contributor for the establishment of a successful and prosperous community. Through resourceful education and training, we have been promoting culture among children and youths, some of whom have little or no knowledge of their ancestral heritages. From its foundation, Ekiti Kete Canada has being at the forefront of promoting cultural education and practices in a way that would connect people to their origins and roots, thus bridging the gap between people of the same ancestry. Our cultural performance team exhibits the richness in African culture and tradition through open cultural dance and drama participation in full-fledge Ekiti traditional costume (Aso Oke).
Beginning with our own children, we have worked hard over the past years to develop a unique cultural dance and drama group with members from diverse cultural origins. Members of this “multi-culture” group, with ancestral roots in Africa and Asia make use of their talents and skills to promote cultural education in the community and to draw awareness to the growing health problems associated with over-weight and obesity through cultural dance and drama.
Rehearsal and training times are irregular and are largely affected by the availability of resources and venue of meeting. Despite these challenges, the group has managed to honour all invitations to perform at various events, including local community events. On the average, the group makes about five recorded and well documented cultural performances yearly and the numbers of invitations keep growing.
Our goal is to organize regular classes, workshops and seminars where educative materials and important information on the richness of the culture and tradition, history and heritage will be made available to interested members of the community. The facility will also serve as training centre for cultural dance and drama in addition to enhancing skills, competencies, creativity and development in culture and tradition. At present time, cultural performances are only rendered in Ekiti dialect, but we are working to build a mega-cultural group in which dances and drama could be performed using multi-languages. Yes, we can!